Despite using grenades, rocket propellers and improvised bombs to battle Nigerian soldiers in multiple attacks in Maiduguri, 24 Boko haram militants died in the counter attack by the Joint Task Force (JTF) on Operation Restore Order (ORO).
The militants carried out the attacks Monday night and early Tuesday, virtually locking down the Nigerian north eastern city that has been the epicenter of the Boko haram insurgency against the Nigerian government.
The persistent gunfire and multiple blasts kept the frightened residents of the neighborhood of Gwange indoors.
“It is terrifying,” said one resident. “We sat up the whole night because of gunshots and explosions. Everybody is inside because it is not safe to venture out.”
About a dozen explosions were heard in the area late Monday, with some reports suggesting a telecom mast and primary school were set ablaze.
Residents said the military then swarmed the area, engaging suspected Boko Haram Islamists in running gun battles through the night and into Tuesday.
JTF spokesman Lt.-Col. Sagir Musa said today that the Nigerian forces were able to overcome their attackers.
“Suspected Boko Haram terrorists launched attacks with rocket propellers, grenades and IEDs and gun fires at different locations in Maiduguri on Monday night.The locations are Zannari, Lagos Street and Gwange General Area,” he said.
Musa explained that the terrorists made use of residential homes in launching the attacks at different times in the night.
“They used civilian residences and homes as launch areas for the attacks at different times,” he said.
Musa said that the attacks were all repelled by the JTF and no soldier or civilian was killed.
“All the attacks were repelled, no soldier or civilian was killed. Twenty four suspected terrorists were killed,” he said.
Musa said that a number of weapons were recovered by the JTF after the operation. “The following items were recovered: one RPG tube, four RPG charges, one General Purpose Machine Gun, seven AK 47 rifles, one FNC rifle and 24 assorted magazines. Other are two pistols, IED materials, bows and arrows and cutlasses, among others,” he said.
Musa said that the city had returned to normal after the counter attack by his men.
“The JTF wishes to warn residents of the city to stop allowing their homes to be used as launch pads. Any person caught will be dealt with, according to the law,” he said.