Nigerian soldiers stopped traffic for three hours on Sunday along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway as they engaged Boko Haram terrorists in a shootout.
Following the shootout, soldiers escorted a long convoy of stranded travellers to Damaturu, according to the military.
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The shootout took place in Lawan-Mainari village, about two kilometres from Jakana town, according to security sources. Terrorists allegedly attempted to attack a military base but were thwarted.
Jakana is about 41 kilometres from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. In the last ten years, the town has been attacked several times.
Bukar Adam, a local security operative who lives in Jakana, confirmed the development to our reporter, saying the soldiers halted traffic on the highway for over three hours to avoid civilian casualties.
“The Boko Haram gunmen exited the highway via the Lawan-Mainari axis, presumably to attack the military base there. They’d been shooting at each other for about an hour.
“It’s unclear whether they were able to repel the attack, but the soldiers have yet to open the roads,” he said.
Senior military officials who spoke to an Ejes GIST NAIJA NEWS reporter on the condition of anonymity confirmed the incident but refused to provide further details.
“All I know is that our soldiers are fighting terrorists on the highway who were out to cause mayhem,” he said.
Abioye Babalola, the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) commander in Borno State, confirmed the news.
He said the attack had been repulsed and that travellers had been escorted down to Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, in a long convoy.
“It was a military attack somewhere between Jakana and Mainok,” he said.
“The military has successfully repelled the attack and the road has reopened to commuters. However, we must provide them with an escort down to Damaturu in order to prevent the terrorists from returning to attack innocent travellers.”
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