Boko Haram ex­trem­ists seize town, army base

Sunday Territorian - - OPINION -

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.

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