Dozens of Boko Haram fighters, who attempted a daring attack on Maiduguri, the Borno State capital on Wednesday evening were killed by gallant soldiers who repelled the insurgents.
The assailants, who were reportedly in their hundreds and armed with various weapons, had made attempts to overrun the 21 armoured brigade, which they had successfully attacked in March 2014 but this time, they met a superior resistance.
However, three soldiers and six members of the civilian joint task force lost their lives in the ensuing battle.
According to a senior official of the civilian JTF, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press on the matter, “The six vigilantes were killed by female suicide bombers who pretended to be in distress while the fight was ongoing between troops and the terrorists”.
“The three women were all suicide bombers because they strapped their bodies with explosives and pretended that they were trapped in the ensuing confusion. And out of sympathy, our members approached them with a view to taking them to safety but sadly, they (women) detonated their explosives”, the official said.
The vigilante added that about 12 of their members sustained various degrees of injuries.
He said on the other hand, three soldiers died during a fight with the insurgents but did not disclose further information.
“The good news is that dozens of the terrorists have been killed while they were advancing towards the Giwa Barracks from Kayamla village and a plantation near Fouri”, he said.
A senior security officer confirmed that three soldiers died in the fight yesterday, adding that on the other hand, it was a bad day for the insurgents.
“The terrorists did not succeed in getting into the Barracks and many of them have been killed”, he said.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has declared a 24- hour curfew on the state capital following the attack.
“In view of the recent development within Maiduguri metropolis, a 24hr curfew is hereby imposed in the city. This is done to protect lives and properties of innocent and law abiding people of Maiduguri”, a statement by Colonel Tukur Gusau, a deputy director, army public relations read.