Policeman killed as troops foil Boko Haram attack in Borno
Army alleges community connivance
Troops of 8 Task Force Division of Operation Lafiya Dole have foiled a Boko Haram attack on Magumeri town in Borno State.
The armed insurgents, according to residents, attempted to set the town ablaze.
Magumeri is a council headquarters, and 40 kilometres north of Maiduguri, the state capital.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen. Sani Usman told reporters in Maiduguri yesterday that: “The timely intervention of the troops prevented the mishap that could have led to massive loss of lives and property.”
The Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, however confirmed that one of his men, Haliru Aliyu was killed while Lawrence Ayeni was wounded in the attack.
The two police officers were on a special duty along with the military in foiling the attacks.
Chukwu said that the military reinforcement from Damasak also engaged the fleeing terrorists and recovered a Hilux vehicle mounted with anti-aircraft gun.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Army has said that Magumeri residents are complicit and in active connivance with the terrorists since the menace began.
A statement in Abuja by Usman said preliminary investigation conducted so far indicates that the assailants are members of that community, as they are well known by the residents.
Usman said this is the first time the terrorists are attacking the community since the menace of attacking and over running communities started in 2009. No member of the community has exposed any resident of involvement with Boko Haram even though, some of the residents are known members of the sect.
While troops are still consolidating and mopping up, it is imperative to state that preliminary investigation shows that the attackers of Magumeri came from the same community.
“It should also be noted that the village was never attacked throughout the period of the insurgency for some inexplicable reasons. The terrorists and their collaborators hibernating in the area were never exposed. There seems to be unholy alliance between the terrorists and the villagers,” Usman said.
A military source told The Guardian that the community residents are actively involved such that they know members of the sect.
“The community obviously has been housing members of the sect, but they have never deemed it fit to report the presence of the terrorists in their community.’’
“It is a grievous mistake and criminal offence to continue to shield or harbour any known Boko Haram terrorist in their midst.’’
However, the state Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa yesterday said the Boko Haram insurgents specifically attacked the Magumeri military base and the police station, without “torching any house or killing residents.’’
He also denied that the insurgents and affected community connived to attack the military base and police station.