Fighter jets, troops halt B'Haram's advance to Damaturu


Daring Boko Haram insurgents on Monday night advanced towards Damaturu, the Yobe State capital but were halted by ground troops and fighters of the Nigerian Air Force.

Few hours before the incident, another batch of insurgents launched a vicious attack on Jakana in the Kaga Local Government Area of Borno State.

Eleven elderly people were among the 40 victims that died in the attack, the fourth in the last three days in Borno State.

Military sources and eyewitnesses made these known to our correspondents just as it was gathered that many residents of Benisheik and Muna in Borno State fled their homes following threats by Boko Haram to attack their two communities on Tuesday night.

It was learnt that the insurgents suffered heavy casualties in the operation described as one of the most successful outings of the Air Force since the commencement of the campaign against Boko Haram.

“On Monday night, they attempted to attack Damaturu; they were advancing towards the city when they were sighted but soldiers and Air Force fighters countered them.

'Several of them were killed in that fight and a security personnel was also shot to death.

“The Air Force did very well; I think that is one of the best battles of the Air Force since this thing (campaign against terrorists) started.”

The PUNCH gathered on Tuesday that the insurgents stormed Jakana around 11.30pm on Monday and had fierce gunfight with troops mostly drawn from the 7th Infantry Division.

The terrorists were however said to have succeeded in burning down the village and the only police station on the Maiduguri/Damaturu highway even though many of them were killed.

It was further gathered that the soldiers seized a Mercedes Benz 9/11 truck abandoned by the insurgents.