Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nigerian soldiers capture Boko Haram gunmen after two-hour gun battle in Biu, Borno State

Nigerian soldiers yesterday captured five Boko Haram terrorists and seized two of their anti-aircraft after the troops foiled an early morning attack by the violent sect in Biu, Borno State.

It was made known in several tweets by the Defense Headquarters that the insurgents had been pushed back from Biu after a two-hour gun duel.

"Troops in pursuit of fleeing terrorists as mopping up operation is ongoing. Five terrorists have so far been captured," it said.

Residents in town, about 200 kilometres southwest of Maiduguri, the state capital, told AFP that scores of the terrorist stormed the town in 10 pick-up trucks at about 7:30 am, yesterday. But they were intercepted by soldiers from a nearby barracks, leading to a two-hour gunfight.

"Soldiers opened fire on three pick-up vans carrying the gunmen that came as an advance party while the rest remained at a fuel station in Kigir village," a resident, Babagana Haruna said.

"There were 10 gunmen in each vehicle and all of them were killed in the rain of bullets from the soldiers," he said, although there was no independent verification of the death toll.

The Islamists' apparent target was the town's military base, residents said.

The remaining insurgents then arrived at the scene in vans and motorcycles and 10 more were killed, said another resident, Awwalu Yusuf.

Civilian vigilantes and soldiers pursued the militants into the bush and youths armed with makeshift weapons set up barricades across the town to prevent them from returning.

Biu is a religiously mixed town and the largest in southern Borno. It has been largely spared Boko Haram attacks on nearby villages in the past two years.

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