A group of gunmen, allegedly Boko Haram members, stormed military barracks in Borno in the early hours of December 20, 2013, Friday.
The army and residents confirmed that the attackers sprayed spraying gunfire on the troops inside before torching the compound. The military has reportedly initiated pursuit of the insurgets.
Mohammed Dole, the Army spokesperson in Borno state, confirmed the attack on the military barracks in the town of Bama.
However, he did not confirm the claims of several Bama residents, who said dozens, or perhaps even hundreds, of insurgents armed with assault rifles, explosives and rocket-propelled-grenades swarmed the barracks in a convoy of 4×4 trucks.
Bama resident Abdullahi Idris told the newsmen that the assault started at around three in the morning with huge explosions and the cracking of gunfire.
“Later we saw plumes of smoke and fire from the barracks,” the resident said.
According to Idris and other residents, military jets flew over the town after the attack.
The nearest air force base is in Borno’s capital Maiduguri, roughly 70 kilometres from Bama.
Another resident, a member of vigilante group, who spoke with reporters on conditions of anonymity, said a large section of the barracks had been destroyed by fire. He further added that fighter jets allegedly dropped bombs on the attackers, forcing them to flee.
Neither residents nor Army spokesperson commented on the estimate number of casualties.
It would be noted that defence officials have claimed Boko Haram is now only capable of attacking soft targets, but Friday’s raid in Bama, which came after a December 2 assault on the army and air force in Maiduguri, indicates the insurgents are still capable of daring offensives.