INSECURITY: Nigerian Troops Suffered A Heavy Defeat As Insurgents Capture Military Formation In Marte, Seize Equipment

According to report by DailyTrust, members of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) have hoisted their flags in many places including military outposts in New Marte and Kirenowa, the biggest town in Marte local government area of Borno state.

The news outlet reported that following the sack of the towns, residents of the area have been trapped in towns and villages.

Quoting sources, the outlet added that the terrorists have stationed their fighters in strategic locations while others are serving as police, giving directives to locals who were unable to leave places like Kirenowa and others.

One source was reported to have said: “The terrorists have taken people in the town hostage. They are now in control of mosques, hospitals and other government buildings.”

Another source said: “They are in absolute control of Marte and environs, giving directives as to when people can go out. It is like what happened years ago when they established their territory in the outskirt of Kirenowa close to Nigeria’s border with Cameroon.

“People would have to take permission from them before doing anything. I pray that Nigerian authorities would mobilise and reclaim the town soon.”

Recall that Zolex had earlier reported that scores of terrorists have been reportedly killed following a fierce battle between the Abubakar Shekau-led Boko Haram sect and the Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP, at a border area between Nigeria and Niger Republic.

Director of Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Mohammed Yerima, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday, quoted Al Thabat, an al-Qaida affiliated media outfit.

He said, “Al Thabat, in a statement, said Jama’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihad, commonly known as Boko Haram, killed Islamic State West Africa Province insurgents in the village of Sunawa on the Nigeria-Niger border.

“The battle occurred after ISWAP abducted dozens of women linked to Boko Haram. The group subsequently attacked the ISWAP base and rescued the women”.

He said since ISWAP broke off from the Shekau-led Boko Haram in 2016, there had been recurrent bitter wars of attrition and violent confrontations between both factions.

The director said the incident has once again exposed the disorganised and disoriented nature of the terrorists.

He added that the Nigerian Army in recent operations under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, has continued to dismantle all logistics and operational bases of the insurgents along the Lake Chad Basin axis and Sambisa forest area

“The troops in one of its operations along Sambisa forest discovered and destroyed Abubakar Shekau’s farm and rescued abducted victims,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday regretted that Nigerians had shed enough blood over issues that could have been peacefully resolved.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President spoke while reacting to the violence in Gombe State arising from the Billiri chieftaincy tussle.

The statement was titled, ‘Billiri chieftaincy tussle: President Buhari condemns violence, calls for maximum restraint to avoid escalation’.

Shehu quoted the President as expressing “great shock and deep concern” over the incident.

The President said, “I’m seriously disturbed by the outbreak of violence in Gombe State and call on the parties involved to exercise maximum restraint to avoid escalation.

“The easy resort to violence is uncalled for because there are enough avenues to resolve differences amicably without threatening law and order.

“In a circle of violence, there are no winners, except losers. Muslims and Christians should avoid the temptation of resorting to violence in order to express their grievances.

“Nigerians have shed enough blood over issues that could have been peacefully resolved. I appeal to the two parties to sheathe their swords for the sake of peaceful coexistence. Gombe has enjoyed relative religious harmony for decades and you shouldn’t allow hoodlums destroy this positive record

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