Suspected Boko Haram insurgents in gun trucks have attacked Auno Village in Borno State, killing over 10 people and destroying 18 vehicles.
The attack on Sunday came barely three days after the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, claimed that the army had technically defeated the Boko Haram insurgents.
“There is no inch of the Nigerian territory that is under the control of the Boko Haram insurgents. Since 2017, the army has technically defeated the Boko Haram terrorists and we have succeeded in taking over the areas captured from Boko Haram insurgents,” Gen. Adeniyi told journalists last Friday while speaking on the anti-terrorism fight in Maiduguri.
While Adeniyi claimed that only 10 people died in the attacks, other sources claimed that the toll figure was up to 30.
During the Sunday attack carried out at about 9:37p.m., the terrorists also snatched three buses loaded with passengers, including women and children, while the vehicles and many houses torched were burning.
Auno is near Maiduguri and had suffered several attacks that claimed many lives and property in the decade- long insurgency.
Confirming the incident, Yahaya Audu, a driver that escaped being killed, said when the terrorists stormed Auno, they were shouting “God is great, God is great.
“The gunmen killed commuters and villagers while some of us scampered for safety, running into nearby bushes and houses. About three hours after, about 18 vehicles were confirmed destroyed by a member of Civilian JTF in Auno.”
The Garrison Commander, Brig-Gen. Sunday Igbinomwanhia, also confirmed the incident, saying the insurgents burst out from the Sambisa forest to attack the village and military post.
Gen. Adeniyi said that the Maiduguri/Damaturu road remained closed by 4:00 p.m. to protect lives and property in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations.
He directed the closure yesterday in Maiduguri while briefing journalists on the Boko Haram attacks in Auno village.
According to him, it is dangerous to ply and park vehicles along Maiduguri/Damaturu road as from 4:00 p.m. and at night. “We don’t want to see vehicles on this road between evening and night hours.”
The Theatre Commander, who said that the closure of the road was also to prevent Boko Haram insurgents from attacking commuters and communities along the 132-kilometre highway, attributed the Auno’s attack to the alleged excesses of drivers who did not abide by the daily closures of the road by 4:00 p.m.
While sympathising with the victims, Governor Babagana Zulum urged the army to relocate its post from Auno to a further distance to secure lives.