Abuja - The military has reportedly thwarted an attempt by terrorists suspected to members of Boko Haram to launch fresh attack on Babbangida town, the headquarters of Tarmuwa local council of Yobe State.
A local resident, Sule Ibrahim, who fled to Damaturu as a result of the attack, confirmed the foiled attempt.
“The Boko Haram militants in the early hours of Sunday attempted to attack the town but the purported attack was thwarted by the military who were alerted. Being a market day, there were apprehensions of possible attack on the town but security forces were fully aware and such purported attack was thwarted,” Ibrahim said.
He added that residents equally ran out of their homes and took refuge in the bushes for fear of the attack as the militants reorganised at night and launched attack on the town.
“As we were hidden in bushes like many other residents, we then heard several gunshots and chanting of war songs around the troubled Babbangida town confirming the earlier apprehensions and not quite long we saw thick smoke around the town which gave a strong signal that houses and other structures were being burnt. Attempts to call some of the people in the town after he fled but could not get connected, indicating that the GSM masts might have been destroyed in the area," Ibrahim said.
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A senior security source who did not want his name mentioned as he had not be authorized to speak to the media, said the attack on Babbangida was reprisal as the a combined security forces had on Saturday launched an offensive attack on the insurgents at their hideout around Sasawa, a border town between Damaturu and Babbangida.
"We carried out an offensive attack on the militants as a result of tip off. We gathered that they were preparing to attack Damaturu the state capital and the attack on Tarmuwa may have being carried out as a reprisal to our earlier assaults," he said.
According to the source, the attack on Babbangida was unprecedented.
Damage to property might be huge while extent of destruction is yet to be determined because mobile network services were completely down.
Babbangida shares borders with Damaturu, the Yobe state capital. It is 50 kilometres north of Damaturu and has experienced several cases of Boko Haram evasion in the past.
- CAJ News