Three civilians were hit by stray bullets on Friday morning as the Nigerian Armed Forces tackled ISWAP fighters during an attack on Damboa local government of Borno state.
The insurgents stormed Damboa through Kalla, a small village close to a military base at about 6 am for a surprise attack.
However local sources say the military who had already prepared for the attack following an intel, met the fighters halfway and neutralized them, giving those who retreated a hot pursuit.
Eleven ISWAP elements were reportedly eliminated during the encounter while an unknown number of them retreated with wounds, security sources in Damboa have revealed.
The three civilians affected were hit by stray bullets during the encounter, as confirmed by a villager.
“Normalcy has been restored in Damboa town and we are going for prayers, I will confirm the condition of those hit by stray bullets after the Jumaat prayers. “ A local source said.
The Military has also confirmed the attempted attack.
In a statement signed by army spokesperson, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, said troops were able to gallantly defend Damboa.
“Troops of Joint Task Force, North East(NE), Operation HADIN KAI (OPHK) have dealt decisively with the Boko Haram (BH) and Islamic State’s West Africa Province(ISWAP) terrorists in their failed incursion to Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State, today 19 November 2021,” the statement said.
“The gallant troops of 25 Task Force(TF) Brigade countered the attack by the terrorists who made spirited attempt to infiltrate the town. The criminals attacked the town in the early hours of this morning through multiple flanks with unconfirmed number of ISWAP foot soldiers on Gun Trucks. They were, however subdued by the overwhelming fire power of the vigilant troops.
“In the following offensive, troops engaged the terrorists with high volume of fire, forcing them to withdraw in disarray. Though, the actual number of casualty could not be immediately ascertained as at the time of this release, however blood stains were reportedly seen on the terrorists’ withdrawal routes.
“This latest operational feat, attests to the continuous combat readiness and troops renewed vigor to effectively deny these criminal elements freedom of action. Additionally, this clearly signifies the resolve of the good people of the North East who have chosen to take ownership of the ongoing counter insurgency operations by providing credible information on the cladestine activities of the criminals.
“The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya salutes the gallantry displayed by troops, while urging them across all theatres of operations to sustain the current operational tempo.”