One officer and seven soldiers, who were killed in both Sunday and Tuesday attacks by the Boko Haram sect in Cinki Gundu and Old Marte, both on the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State capital, have been slated for burial today in Maiduguri.
Thisday had reported exclusively yesterday the invasion of Cinki Gundu and Old Mata by the terrorists who killed an officer and seven soldiers in both attacks.
Although the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Lucky Irabor, had denied the incidents as “total falsehood,” Thisday sources had insisted the attack took place.
Unfortunately, while the burial plans were being concluded, the news came in of another attack by the Boko Haram sect in Kangaruwa, an outskirt of Maiduguri, after Mallam Fatori, where the late Col. Abu Ali was killed. The location, the THISDAY source said, was in 119 battalion under the 8 Task Force Division in Monguno.
While details of the attack was not clear, THISDAY learnt that the troops on the ground had immediately sent for Alpha Jet for support as well as support by troops from Baga, to help contain the fire power by the terrorist group. The attack was still ongoing in the evening of yesterday whilst this report was also being put together.
Second Lieutenant Ba Umar, Corporal Idowu Shoneyin and four other young soldiers were killed in the Sunday attack in Cinki Gundu, while two other soldiers died from the Old Marte attack on Tuesday. The eighth person would later die from injuries sustained in Old Marte attack.
They have all been slated for burial today in Maiduguri, being the operational base of the Armed Forces.
Umar was the most senior personnel among the deceased, while Shoneyin, who was of the 53 Task Force Battalion was a corporal. Shoneyin had served at 81 Division in Lagos before he was moved to the 53 Task Force Battalion. Two of the other soldiers who died at the Cinki Gundu attack joined the army sometime last year.
Asked what the problem of the Nigerian military was in containing the threat posed by the Boko Haram terrorists, the source said it was both of personnel and ammunition. He claimed there were not enough men on the ground to contain Boko Haram members, who were usually in their thousands, and also argued that while the terrorists came with sophisticated weapons, the Nigerian military mostly had to deal with AK47.
“The problem is of two: personnel and ammunition. You will see in our locations, very few soldiers to fight thousands of Boko Haram members. They will also come with superior fire power and we only have just the AK47 to confront them. That is fighting from the point of disadvantage,” he said.
However, not much had been heard of the attack in Kangaruwa. Although the military had called for help which was said to be on the way as at press time, other vital details were not yet established.