Sunday, 7 September 2014

Military reclaims Bama after 7 days of capture by Boko Haram

The Boko Haram insurgents that had taken over Bama town last Monday inBorno state; have Saturday night; fully retreated from the strategicreclaimed town; as fierce aerial bombardments by the Nigerian AirForce (NAF) fighter jets, Military sources confirmed Sunday inMaiduguri, the state capital.

One of the sources said that the aerial bombardments to knockout BokoHarams weapon installations in the border town had recently overrun;adding that; our tactical aerial attacks to reclaim this town hadbeen effective and yielding the desired results. This will enable thefleeing residents and villagers to return within the shortest periodof time.
But the weekend battle however took a heavy toll on civilian livesand property as the insurgents were said to be embedded withresidents, allegedly used as human shields if the military launchesany attack on the occupied town, said Mustapha Modu, now taking refuge inMaiduguri.
On how Bama was reclaimed, the source said: The first attacksdidnt really make the expected impact but the second round ofbombardment really injured those Boko Haram boys, which is why theyare retreating now. They are no deeper into Bama, while our people areadvancing and gaining territory. The Boko Haram boys are right now retreating.
We are now dislodging them. You know, Air Force have intensifiedtheir efforts; they brought F-7 and different kinds of aircraft. Theyreally bombarded them.
Another military source also confirmed the advances of the ArmedForces in the battle field of Bama but cautioned that it was no time forcelebration yet, as the operation was still ongoing in several partsof Borno State.
He said the situation was still very volatile with Gwoza, Gambouru,Wulgo and one or two town in northern Borno, are far from beingliberated from the terrorists takeover in the last three months.
We dont want to say anything official but there are still fightsgoing on in different places and on different scales, especially byair. This is a critical and unusual time, the senior militaryofficer said.
He also explained that apart from the aerial campaign in Bama, NAF hadbeen effective in support of the ground forces with the launch of air attacks with different aircraft types, including helicopter gunships.
He said: We are very deeply involved. You know what we are havinghere is a joint operation of the services, even though the Navy maynot be involved right now because of the terrain.
First and foremost, apart from the airlift, we are equally supportingthe ground forces; in most of the cases we even take the initiative.
In modern warfare, Air Force normally does the first dirty job, clearthe road for the Army to do the mop up operations.
Like I said, all our platforms are participating fully here. We haveAlpha Jets, we have F7, Beechcraft, Mi35, which is the gunships, andthen all our transport planes: C-130, the G TripleT. So we areparticipating fully and playing a significant role in that place.
A military intelligence source in Maiduguri Sunday also said: Gwozais still a no-go area, I must tell you the truth, as the town isfirmly in hands of the Boko Haram terrorists. We are currentlyfocusing on Bama before advancing to other areas in northern andsouthern parts of Borno state.
Sources within the military also blamed some of the difficulties beingencountered in the fight against Boko Haram on what they termindiscriminate retirement of experienced officers.
Our capital city of Maiduguri is today facing a heavy influx ofrefugees from the local government areas in Borno. Borno citizens havebeen forced to take refuge in parts of Gombe and Adamawa states mainlyon account of mans inhumanity to fellow man in the gratuitous name ofreligion. These acts are absolutely condemn able in the strongest of terms, said the military officer.
However, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state in his state-widebroadcast Saturday said: In the history of Borno State since the 19thcentury, the latest insurgency was not the first threat to ourexistence as a people. We had faced and survived threats in years pastand we shall survive this by Gods willing.
We are confident of victory through a reinforcement of our ArmedForces and the collective will of all of us, citizens, who are committed to defeating the Boko Haram scourge.
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