Babbangida, in Tarmuwa local council of Yobe State was, Sunday morning, attacked by members of the Boko Haram sect, razing many of the houses in the process.
Babbangida is the headquarters of Tarmuwa Local Government Area of the state and shares borders with Damaturu, the Yobe state capital which is 50 km away. It has experienced several cases of Boko Haram invasion in the past.
“The Boko Haram militants in the early hours of today invaded the town,” a resident Sule Ibrahim, who fled to Damaturu as a result of the attack, said.
“Yesterday (Saturday) being the market day, there were apprehensions of possible attack on the town but security forces were fully aware and such possible attack was thwarted,” he said.
“As we were hidden in bushes like many other residents in the early hours of today (Sunday) we then heard several gunshots and chanting of war songs around the troubled Babbangida town confirming the earlier apprehensions and not quite long we saw thick smoke around the town which is gave a strong signal that houses and other structures were being burnt,” he added.
A top military personnel, who does not want his name mentioned as he was not authorized to speak to the media, said the attack on Babbangida was a reprisal one as the combined security forces had on Saturday launched an offensive on the insurgents at their hideout around Sasawa, a border town between Damaturu and Babbangida.
“We carried out an offensive attack on the militants as a result of a tip-off. We gathered that they were preparing to attack Damaturu, the state capital, and the attack on Tarmuwa may have been carried out as a reprisal to our earlier assaults,” the source said.
Sunday’s attack is the second in the state since President Muhammadu Buhari took over as president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
The insurgents had earlier attacked Fika and Ngalda towns of Yobe state located west of Damaturu, the state capital.