Boko Haram recaptures two local government areas in Borno

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Suspected Boko Haram insurgents in gun trucks and motorcycles on Wednesday recaptured two Borno council areas, after torching the secretariat complexes and houses in Magumeri and Gubio towns. The insurgents simultaneously attacked the two council headquarters, after performing their evening prayers in mosques with some residents.

Magumeri and Gubio, 40 and 88 km north of Maiduguri, the state capital, were severally attacked in 2017 and this year, before Wednesday’s recapture that forced many residents to flee to the state capital. The recaptured townships; have no forward operational base (FOB) of Army, as troops were withdrawn recently for routine operational changes as contained in its rules of engagement.

“The insurgents stormed Gubio town at about 6 pm, performed their evening prayers at about 6:30 pm and wreaked havoc on innocent civilians by torching several houses and public structures,” Usman Zannah, representing Magumeri/Kaga/Gubio federal constituency, said while confirming the attack.

“No life was lost or wounded any resident. The insurgents abducted a member of Civilian JTF in uniform in Gubio,” he said. They also carted away several tractor tyres and food items in Magumeri, after torching the houses and other public buildings in the two council headquarters.

He said tens of thousands of residents have been displaced; while others are under the captivity of Boko Haram, particularly the ones that failed to flee for safety and being abducted.

He said after carting away these items, Modu Fantami, a resident told the Guardian that the insurgents on Wednesday evening invaded the council headquarters shooting sporadically, before torching the secretariat and several houses in the night.

Another security source said, “the insurgents were not on a killing mission. They kept on telling us not to flee during the attacks and torching of structures, but to accept their ideology on Islam.”

Caretaker Chairman of Gubio, Zannah Gubio said: “It is unfortunate that a week after a deadly attack which took place in Gubio that led to the withdrawal of troops, other armed insurgents stormed Gubio town at about 6pm.

“I am presently in Maiduguri for the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed Commissioners, and all of a sudden, I started receiving distress calls that my people are being attacked by Boko Haram. I cannot give you the actual number of casualties for now, but from all indications and the reports I have so far, the insurgents have taken over Gubio shooting at sight and burning structures without confrontation.”