Boko Haram extremists seize town, army base
MAIDUGURI: Extremists have seized a Nigerian town and a key base for a multinational force fighting Boko Haram insurgents.
Reinforcements trying to retake the town have been repelled, with some casualties.
The attack on the town of Baga comes as President Muhammadu Buhari seeks a second term in February’s election.
He took office in 2015 vowing to defeat the Boko Haram extremists, who have split as one faction pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
Resident Musa Hajaye said the extremists “have hoisted their flag and warned us of the evil fate of saboteurs”.
Residents said the attack began on Tuesday, with the base seized on Wednesday.
Many residents have fled to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and the birthplace of Boko Haram.
Lamidi Adeosun, the chief of army training and operations, said the fighting continued on Friday in Baga.
“It’s a ding-dong situation but we are engaging them,” he said. “We are not in total control but the Boko Haram have not taken control of Baga, either. We are dealing and almost done with the situation.”
Baga hosts the Nigerian base of the multinational task force fighting Boko Haram.