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The military says the Boko Haram insurgents attacked Giwa Barracks in a bid to free their members being detained in the facility.
After about five hours of what could be described as the deadliest attack by the extremist Boko Haram sect on Maiduguri, soldiers, supported by the die-hard civilian-JTF members, are on the hot pursuit of some of the insurgents, witnesses and police authorities have said.
Witnesses said the aerial bombing had caused the Boko Haram insurgents some degree of casualty.
It was also said, but not yet confirmed by security authorities, that the bombing may have killed even members of the Civilian-JTF who trooped into the firing area to arrest the Boko Haram terrorists.
A source at the Giwa Barracks said the terrorists actually gained entrance into the barracks and freed some of their detained members who were later shot dead as they were attempting to escape.
A witness and member of the Civilian-JTF, Isa Maikati, told reporters, “I saw 13 corpses of members of the Boko Haram in front of Giwa barracks, I don’t know if more have been killed in the bush, but right now, soldiers and some members of the Civilian-JTF are still pursing them into the bush”.
The State police Commissioner, Tanko Lawa, told journalists on phone “Yes things have calmed down for now, but we are still monitoring the situation”.
He did not give details of damages or casualty.
Most streets of Fori, Gombole road up to old GRA were deserted, but pockets of residents have started returning back to their neighbourhoods in trickles.
The attack is the first of its kind ever recorded in that part of Maiduguri city since the beginning of the Boko Haram insurgency.
The airforce jet is still hovering around the city of Maiduguri, while periodic sounds of shootings from armoured tankers continued to echo in from distant places around the barracks.
Today’s attack coincided with the end of the three-day fasting and mourning declared by the Shehu of Borno; but the attack had however disrupted the convocation of all residents of Maiduguri city for a prayer at the Eid Prayer ground that was supped to hold at about 9 p.m.
The normal Friday prayers too did not hold in most part of Maiduguri due to the attack.
Residents described as encouraging the sight of youths in their thousands who stormed the neighbourhoods of the attacks with clubs, spears, bows and arrows, and machette searching for members of the Boko Haram sect.
Isa Maikati said we have arrested so many of them and handed over to the soldiers, some tried to fight back and they were mobbed dead.
A resident of Fori, Babaji Adamu, said the aerial bombing destroyed many houses and killed a female child who was hiding with her parents in their home.
The military has issued a statement saying the insurgents attacked Giwa Barracks in a bid to free their members being detained in the facility.
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