Residents of Askira town in Borno state were going about their daily activities on Saturday morning when fighters of the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) wreaked havoc.
It was gathered that the insurgents invaded Askira in Askira-Uba LGA of Borno with no less than ten gun trucks.
“After the insurgents invaded the town, they started shooting sporadically to announce their presence,” a resident said.
Amidst the chaos, some residents were able to flee the community, while others who were trapped took cover.
The insurgents destroyed a telecommunication mast and a truck that was being used for the construction of boreholes and other public facilities in the town.
During the operation which lasted for over 90 minutes, the insurgents looted food items in shops and burnt some buildings and vehicles in the town.
A source said that this is the first time the ISWAP fighters will gain inroads into the town.
It was learned that while the attack was going on, two helicopters of the Nigerian army were mobilised to the area to assist the ground troops of the 28 task force brigade.
The source said some of the troops had fled the scene of the attack before the helicopters were mobilised.
BRIGADIER-GENERAL, THREE SOLDIERS KILLED
Dzarma Zirkusu, a brigadier-general, and three soldiers who were heading to Askira to support the troops were ambushed and killed by the insurgents.
The incident was said to have happened a few kilometers from Askira.
Onyema Nwachukwu, army spokesperson, said the troops were killed while providing “reinforcement in a counteroffensive against the terrorists”.
“In the fierce encounter which is still raging as at the time of filing this report, troops supported by the Air Component of OPHK have destroyed five A – Jet combat trucks, two A-29 artillery weapons, two dragon combat vehicles and nine gun trucks,” the army spokesman said.
The brigadier-general was said to be in charge of the operation against insurgents in Askira, Chibok, Madagali and other neighbouring towns.