Military confirms casualties in Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri Airport, Airforce Base & Army Barracks •5 planes confirmed burnt

Posted by News Express | 2 December 2013 | 4,782 times

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The Nigerian military has confirmed the extent of havoc wreaked in this morning’s daring attack on military and aviation facilities in Maiduguri, capital of the troubled Borno State in the country’s North-East.

“Three decommissioned military aircraft as well as two helicopters were incapacitated in the course of the attack. Two Air Force personnel were also wounded while 24 insurgents died during the exchange of fire,” Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade, Director of Defence Information, said in a statement.

A report by AFP quoted an eyewitness as saying: “I saw two air force helicopters burnt while in the whole of the 79 Composite Group (of the Nigerian Air Force) few buildings are still standing. Most of the structures have been attacked and destroyed.”

Another man, a local government official, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “At the 33 Artillery (battalion of the Nigerian Army), the terrorists have destroyed the barracks and took away an armoured (personnel) carrier but left it along the highway.

“We heard women and children in the barracks crying and wailing. At the gate, I saw some vehicles destroyed and the checkpoint there in shreds.

“Frankly speaking, if the insurgents had wanted, they could have killed all of us… because they came in large numbers… some with explosives, some with rocket-propelled grenades and some with AK-47 rifles.”

The strike began around 3:00 a.m. AFP quoted an unnamed intelligence officer as saying that the terrorists “entered Maiduguri from the bush, chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great).”

The insurgents also ambushed military checkpoints on the outskirts of the city, while shops and petrol stations were set on fire, local residents said.

The terrorists had last week killed 24 people in two separate strikes in the state.

Boko Haram, whose name translates from the Hausa language of northern Nigeria as “Western education is sin”, wants to impose a strict form of Islamic law or Sharia in the region and has been blamed for close to 4,000 deaths since 2009.

•Photo shows Defence Spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Olukolade.

Source: News Express

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