Posted by News Express | 24 August 2014 | 4,748 times
Boko Haram insurgents yesterday took over the headquarters of Madagali Local Government Area in Adamawa State after dislodging a military base in the town, forcing residents to flee.
The Chairman of Madagali Local Government, James Waltharda, told Sunday Trust that hundreds of gunmen seized the town yesterday morning and posted their men to patrol the streets.
“The insurgents have invaded Madagali town and they are patrolling the town with dangerous weapons. Residents in Madagali town, Gulak and all the villages you know have deserted their homes but, from the reports I got, there is no much civilian casualty yet,” he stated.
Madagali is the first town in Adamawa State to fall into the hands of the Boko Haram group which has stepped up attacks recently and has taken over towns in Borno and Yobe states. Adamawa, Yobe and Borno have been under state of emergency declared by the Federal Government.
Last Wednesday, the insurgents overran and hoisted their flag in Buni Yadi, headquarters of Gujba Local Government in Yobe State. Similarly, they seized the mobile police training college in Limankara, near Gwoza, in Borno State.
About 10,000 residents of Gwoza and Izge fled Boko Haram attacks last week and were camped in Madagali, which lies about 20 kilometres away in Adamawa.
The local government chairman said the displaced persons had fled with other residents.
“The town is deserted, people abandoned their homes and the displaced persons who ran away from Gwoza and were sheltered in Madagali have also run for their lives,” he said.
Waltharda disclosed that they had repeatedly appealed to the authorities to improve security when the situation in the area started getting worst.
Yesterday’s attack created fear of the insurgents’ possible advance on Gulak town, about 20 kilometres away, forcing residents to flee.
A resident, Mamman Muhammad, who spoke on phone, said people had taken to the bush and surrounding mountains while some had fled to Mubi and Hong.
“As I am talking to you, Gulak is deserted. My family has left the town, only very few of us remain. People are terrified because of the presence of insurgents in Madagali but there is no attack in Gulak yet. I decided to remain because I have not yet heard gunshots or seen any sign of attack but there is panic and that is why people fled,” he stated.
A security source in Gulak disclosed that soldiers were being mustered for a possible counter-attack to retake the town.
Attempts to speak to the spokesman of the 234 Armoured Brigade in Yola, Capt. Jafaru Nuhu, was not successful, as calls to his mobile phone failed to go through.
•Adapted from a Sunday Trust report. Photo shows a Boko Haram convoy.
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