By Muhaimin Olowoporoku
CLAIM: Media reports by Al Jazeera, Reuters, and others claimed that Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists overran Marte Military base in Borno State and captured it.
VERDICT: FALSE! Terrorists never seized Marte military base in Borno State.
FULL STORY: Several media report citing anonymous sources over the weekend reported that government troops and residents were forced to flee after ISIL terrorists overran and captured Marte military base in Borno State.
It was reported that the attack occurred overnight on Friday into Saturday and that the military’s priority was to reclaim the base from the terrorists.
They also claimed that ISIL later posted a statement on its Amaq news channel on Telegram claiming responsibility for the attack.
Reuters claimed that Soldiers fled during Friday’s assault and Marte remained under the control of the militants on Saturday.
A Nigerian Newspaper said that the raid was seen as a “fightback” after recent losses — troops recently overran ISWAP’s second largest camp in Talala village.
VERIFICATION: Prior to reports that the base was attacked overnight on Friday into Saturday, the military on Friday around 7:02 PM announced that troops of Operation TURA TAKAIBANGO in conjunction with the Air Task Force Operation LAFIYA DOLE neutralized Boko Haram/ISWAP Terrorists in Marte axis and destroyed seven gun trucks and recovered arms.
The military in its press statement before media reports of the attack said the troops withdrew and tactically positioned themselves in an ambush site where they waited for the terrorist arrival and opened fire on the terrorists. The gun battle according to the release led to a fierce battle that resulted in the successes of the troops.
They said the troops were still engaged in the pursuit of the fleeing terrorists for further exploitation.
Afterward, around 3 pm on Sunday, the military provided another update on the situation of things in Marte.
In a statement, the Nigerian military said after repelling the terrorists the Air Task Force of Operation LAFIYA DOLE obliterated additional six gun trucks and eliminated scores of terrorists who were attempting to reinforce their colleague in the attack.
The military said the attack occurred on the night of Friday into Saturday as NAF helicopter gunships engaged the convoy of ISWAP gun trucks while approaching Marte for reinforcement.
The gunships according to the release delivered an accurate hit on their attack, obliterating at least six additional gun trucks which were engulfed in flames.
Many other terrorists were also mopped-up in follow-up attacks as the helicopter gunship continued to strafe fleeing terrorists.
On claims that the ISIL later posted a statement on its Amaq news channel on Telegram claiming responsibility for the attack, a check by PM News for any Amaq news channel on the messaging app showed that such channel does not exist on the platform.
CONCLUSION: Reports that Marte military base was seized by terrorists are false. Attempted attack by terrorists around Marte local government was repelled by troops of the Nigerian military.