by Segun Odeleye
Terrorist sect, Boko Haram, has begun its attack against Nigerian people in the New Year. On Saturday, it attacked and overtook a military base in Baga, Borno state.
Here’s how The Punch newspaper reported it:
Boko Haram militants on Saturday launched fresh attacks on some communities in Borno and Yobe states, killing scores of people, including children.
The attack on Borno State was on a military base at the fishing community of Baga, near Lake Chad.
The base is used by the Multinational Joint Task Force which was established in 1998 to battle cross-border crimes but whose mandate was expanded to fighting Boko Haram.
The force is made up of troops from Nigeria as well as Niger and Chad.
Hundreds of fear-stricken residents of Baga and five other towns and villages were reported to have poured into the neighbouring Chad in fishing boats and canoes to escape being attacked too by the sect members.
A military source, who pleaded anonymity, said the soldiers in the base were caught unawares by the insurgents.
He said, “It was an ugly development in Baga on Saturday morning, when the Boko Haram insurgents attacked the base there and practically dislodged the soldiers. I can tell you that it was really bad.”
A resident, Usman Danssubdu, told the Agence France Presse that the insurgents seized the base after several hours of gun battle with the troops.
He added that most of the residents of the community were “now seeking refuge in Gubuwa, Kangallam and Kaiga villages inside Chad near the border with Nigeria.”
Another resident, Yunus Ali, told our correspondent in Maiduguri that the insurgents captured the community and hoisted their flag at the MNJTF base.
Ali, who arrived Maiduguri around 5pm on Sunday, said he slept in the bush and trekked many kilometers before he got a bus to the state cxapital.
“It was around 5am yesterday (Saturday) when we started hearing gunshots and they entered the MNJTF base where they killed many civilians living in the barracks,” he said.
Another fleeing resident, Ibrahim Kaka, said the insurgents also followed people fleeing to the bush where they killed many people.
“They did not spare anybody as they shot at men, women and even children who were fleeing into the bush,” Kaka claimed.
Our correspondent saw thousands of fleeing residents at the Baga motor park in Maiduguri where they were being awaited by their anxious relatives.