A military base which was seized by combined forces of Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram was regained over the weekend by troops.
The reinforcement team of the terrorists which wielded machine-guns mounted on trucks, had seized Marte – a town 93 kilometres from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital and the military base in the community on Friday night.
ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack via a statement it posted on its Amaq news channel. The terrorist group claimed that seven people were killed and one person captured by its fighters who seized weapons, ammunition and six four-wheel-drive vehicles and also burnt down the army barracks.
While this was an unconfirmed claim, it was learnt that troops “tactically withdrew” to defend against the attack from outside Marte. Backed by aerial support, troops ambushed the reinforcement team of the terrorists before dislodging them.
The Defence Headquarters said it eliminated scores of terrorists and destroyed their gun trucks.
Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche said;
“After successfully repelling a Boko Haram/ Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists’ attack on Marte, with the destruction of seven gun trucks by the combined ground and air operations, the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole has obliterated additional six gun trucks and eliminated scores of terrorists who were attempting to reinforce their colleagues in the attack.
“This occurred on the night of 15 January through to the early hours of 16 January 2021 as the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter gunships engaged the convoy of ISWAP gun trucks as they approached Marte axis for reinforcement.
“The helicopters delivered accurate hits in their multiple waves of attack, obliterating no fewer than six additional gun trucks, which were seen engulfed in flames across the battlespace.
“Several other terrorists were mopped-up in follow-on attacks as the helicopter gunships continued to strafe the fleeing ISWAP elements.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria, operating in concert with other security agencies and stakeholders, will sustain the offensive against the enemies of our great nation.”
Chief of Army Staff Gen Tukur Buratai also praised the soldiers for recapturing the military base.
By Kingsley U.