It was gathered that the attack occurred around 1pm on Saturday and by the time the insurgents were repelled by a fighter jet, a master warrant officer, one vigilante and three other residents of the town had been killed.
A source from the army base in Askira told one of our correspondents that the Boko Haram fighters stormed the town in about 15 gun trucks and opened on the army base.
The source said, “They came into town in about 15 gun trucks and attack our arms store. But it was empty as they had earlier stolen our arms and ammunition. They killed one master warrant officer.
“Soldiers ran for cover because the terrorists outnumbered us, but a fighter jet came and attacked the insurgents. Three of them were killed and four of their gun trucks were destroyed. Many of the attackers were injured, but they destroyed one army gun truck.”
Also, a resident of Askira, who did not want to be named, said after the terrorists were repelled by the fighter jet, “they went into the village shooting indiscriminately, killing four residents, including a vigilante.”
The woman added, “We got a warning call from the neighbouring village that some people had sighted the terrorists. Around 1pm, we heard gunshots.
She said they hid in the till it was dark enough for them to sneak into the town.
The Army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Sagir Musa, had yet to respond to inquiries on the incident. He did not respond to phone calls and a test message seeking his comment on Sunday.
But a statement by the spokesperson, Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Ado Isa, confirmed the attack at Askira but added that the nsurgents also suffered heavy losses from the troops of 28 Task Force Brigade.
It read partly, “On December 12, 2020, Boko Haram terrorists attempted to attack Askira Uba in Borno State. The terrorists were suspected to have come from Sambisa Forest, mounted on over 15 gun trucks and approached the town from different directions simultaneously. Troops responded and engaged the criminals with superior fire power.
Similarly, a statement on Sunday by the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, confirmed that the air task force of Operation Lafiya Dole eliminated “several Boko Haram insurgents at Njimia on the fringes of the Sambisa Forest in Borno State, in airstrikes.”
It added that three bandits were killed and four others apprehended in another operation by the troops of Operation Whirl Stroke.
Enenche, in the statement said the troops of Operation Whirl Stroke, “in the early hours of Saturday, raided identified bandits hideouts at Tomatar Ugba and Kundi villages in Mbacher council ward of Katsina-Ala LGA of Benue State, where the three hoodlums were killed.”