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Military, Boko Haram in fresh battle in Yobe

By The Citizen
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Attempts by Boko Ha ram insurgents to cap ture a town in Yobe State on Friday was resisted by security forces, leading to a fierce battle that lasted well over two hours, witnesses and officials said.

Boko Haram insurgents rode to Damagun, a small community along Damaturu- Kano road and headquarters of Fune Local Government in Yobe at 6pm on Friday in a convoy of over six four-wheel drive vehicles. They made spir ited attempts to raid the town, take over a military base and the Divisional Police Head quarters, a witness who did not want his name in print, said on phone. This forced the military and police troops in the area to engage the insurgents in hours of fighting.

Witnesses said the insur gents threw many explosive devices into Damagun police station and shot sporadically into a military base in the town as fear gripped residents who had already fled into their houses. Damagun is about 73 kilometres from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, which was also attacked by Boko Haram barely three weeks ago.

Residents said the insur gents who also rode to the town on motorcycles set ablaze a police station, police bar racks and the official residence of the local government chair man among other public prop erty destroyed by the attackers.

Chairman of Fune Local Government, Alhaji Digma Gana confirmed the attack to reporters even as he praised the security forces for their gal lantry. He said the military in the area fought well and held their ground until Boko Haram fizzled out.

He said the insurgents burnt many public buildings. These include the office of the Inter national Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the lo cal government education de partment (LGED, the councils Government lodge, the Emir's guesthouse and two Toyota Hilux vehicles belonging to the local government.

Gana commended the secu rity forces for their efforts, add ing that he was happy no life was lost, either of the civilians or any of the security person nel. He urged residents not to panic, assuring that govern ment and the security agencies were putting measures in place to secure the community from further attack.

The attack came barely two years after a dawn raid on a government secondary school in the area by Boko Haram. Back then, in April 2012, in surgents had attacked Gov ernment Secondary School, Damagun and killed over 40 students. The attack on the stu dents attracted both local and international condemnation. The Sun