A fierce battle between the Nigerian military and members of the Islamic State’s West African Province (ISWAP), a faction of the Boko Haram terrorist group has resulted in the death of many individuals from both sides.
It is understood that not fewer than two soldiers and 39 insurgents lost their lives during the bloody clash which took place on Sunday in Damasak, Borno State.
Reports say that Damasak is the the headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State and is about 160km from Maiduguri, the state capital.
Soldiers wounded during the fierce encounter have been evacuated for medical attention on Monday.
Damasak is understood to be in the control of the troops but the insurgents have been launching consistent attacks in an attempt to take over the area.
One of such attempts was what reportedly happened on Sunday as the ISWAP terrorists stormed the area but met stiff opposition from the Nigerian Military, assisted by their counterparts from the Niger Republic.
The encounter in Damasak lasted for over four hours with heavy shootings.
“Yesterday’s fight was devastating, and this was the second time the Nigerian military had to withdraw from a battle for Damasak but were also quick to reclaiming their position.”
“We got a report that there’s threat over the inhabitants of Damasak town as armed men suspected to be Boko Haram sects are regrouping between Songia settlement and Geidam Chuku village under Niger Republic with the intention of attacking Damasak town. But we believe in the military formations at this end which is vigorous and proactive,” he said.
He said when the insurgents attacked, the military made a tactical withdrawal which is an act in warfare to give the enemy the feeling of weakness in order to take them by surprise.
“This is what happened and the end result is the neutralization of any of them,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has said troops of Operation Lafiya Dole have eliminated scores of the Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in Borno.
In a statement on Monday, Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, said that the terrorists were eliminated on Saturday.
Yerima said the troops engaged the insurgents around the fringes of the Tumbus of Lake Chad region and led to the destruction of terrorists’ gun trucks and recovery of a large cache of arms and ammunition.