Insurgents attack, dislodge troops at Dikwa - OPID News

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Monday, 19 April 2021

Insurgents attack, dislodge troops at Dikwa

 Insurgents attack, dislodge troops at Dikwa

Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) on Sunday night attacked troops’ location at Dikwa, Borno State and dislodged them, The Nation has learnt.

The invaders, it was gathered, struck between 7pm and 7:30pm at the 81 Division Taskforce Battalion, sending continuous fire with the help of their gun trucks.

Sources, who hinted The Nation about the attack, said the location of the troops was yet to be ascertained around 11pm as they allegedly lost radio communication with the Theatre Command.

It was gathered soldiers of the battalion, who have initially complained of overstaying on the battlefields, were at the mercy of the invaders because they had no artillery weapon to defend themselves.

The battalions, sources said, have only their service AK47 rifles and so, could not do much when the heavily armed terrorists advanced and set fire on their camp.

The Nation reports this is the second time in a month that the battalion has come under attack from the terrorists.

A soldier who pleaded anonymity said: “They were under fierce attack and later lost communication which means that they have been overran. They do not have armament in the camp, it is only their AK47 they have.

“This same battalion has been in the battle for almost six years straight. The army has refused to rotate them, ordinarily, we are to be called back every two years but these ones have not been replaced.

“So, they are already drained mentally, emotionally, physically and otherwise. Worst part is that no one is checking their mental health and all complaints to the army authorities have not yielded positive results.

“There must have been casualties but we do not have details now since they have lost communication. Sadly, this is the second time this month that their location is attacked by terrorists.”

A security alert by a top intelligence source warned aid workers about fire burning around the 81 Division Battalion in Dikkwa around 7:34pm on Sunday.

The alert confirmed there was an attack at the location, adding the military were reportedly engaging the invaders with close air support observed in the vicinity.

It assured members of the humanitarian community in Borno that it was following up the situation and would update them, urging them to avoid the area and suspend travels or missions along the route.

A subsequent update released by the UNDSS around 12:40am on Monday indicated the terrorists returned in large number on bikes and gun trucks from Dikwa-Ngala road 7km NW towards Kemtubire, a route behind Marte to Kirenowa.

It revealed that before the Air Force hit some of them, others had already entered the community, mostly the ones on motorbikes.

“Source also revealed that Dikwa is still partially in the control of the ISWAP-BHT.

The source revealed that military radios are in their possession, thereby all communication within the military circle were incommunicado as BHT took over their radio communication.

Army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yerima, confirmed the attack.

But he said the terrorists suffered heavy casualty in equipment and personnel, adding that most of their top commanders were killed during the attack.

Yerima, in a statement, described the attack as a failed attempt to take over Dikwa, adding the troops, with support from the air component, inflicted heavy casualty on the terrorists.

“Troops of Operation Lafiya Dole currently carrying out Operation Tura Takaibango stationed at Dikwa and Gulumba Gana supported by the Air Component inflicted heavy casualty on Boko Haram Terrorists who attempted to take control of the strategic town of Dikwa, the headquarters of Dikwa LGA of Borno State.

“The terrorists in their numbers mounted on 12 gun trucks attacked the town on the eve of Sunday 18 April 2021, just as the locals prepare to break their Ramadan fast for the day.

“The troops having contained the initial wave of the attack had to occupy their alternative Headquarters at Gulumba Gana to enable the Air Component engage any gun trucks and other technicals in the vicinity of the attack to prevent fratricide.

“The troops launched a counter attack in the early hours of Monday 19 April 2021 and successfully reoccupied their main headquarters in Dikwa.

“The retreating terrorists suffered heavy losses in both equipment and personnel including some of their key leaders from the superior fire power of own troops both from the air and ground forces. The troops are currently patrolling Dikwa town and environs to assess the level of damage inflicted on the terrorists.

“The Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru has commended the troops for their doggedness and directed them to restrategise in order to prevent any further attacks in the area.”

Army spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Yerima told The Nation: “It’s true but they have been chased out. I will issue a release after the briefing. THE NATION

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