Scores of citizens and military officers were reported to have died during clashes between troops of the Nigerian Army and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) at an army base in Malam Fatori, Abadam district, Borno State.
The clashes was said to have started when the Jihadists, riding trucks fitted with machineguns, stormed the town of Malam Fatori, where the military vase was sited and both parties engaged each other.
Security sources and residents, who spoke on the clashes on Sunday, narrated that the attack occurred yesterday and lasted for several minutes between both parties.
A military officer, who did not want his name in mentioned since he was not authorised to speak, stated that the attack left a huge destruction on the base and that the military was still battling to quantify.
According to him, they attacked the military base and engaged troops in a fight while a second group went on a killing spree and arson in the town.
A resident, Buji Garwa, narrated that the first attack, it was gathered, occurred near the Niger border, came at dusk leading to a fierce battle with soldiers who repelled the assault,
In a predawn attack on the base and the town yesterday, the jihadists hurled explosives and killed residents, while others drowned in a river trying to flee.
“It is not clear how many people were killed because we all fled the town and are now gradually returning to assess the damage,” Garwa said, adding that a large part of the town had been set afire. We have started combing the bushes and picking (up) bodies of those killed and searching along the river banks to find those washed to the shores,” he said.
Another resident, Baitu Madari, said she had counted a dozen people who were killed in her neighbourhood during the attack that occurred during last 48 hours in the district.
“I have no idea of the number of the dead bodies recovered in other parts of town. The destruction is really huge,” she said.
According to an intelligence officer, the attackers came from nearby Kamuya village which is the largest ISWAP camp in Lake Chad area which is just eight kilometres (five miles) from Malam Fatori,” the source said.
“All the previous unsuccessful attacks on Malam Fatori were launched from Kamuya which is well fortified with mines and heavy weapons,” he added.