LAGOS (AA) – Nigeria’s militant Boko Haram has reportedly seized the headquarter of a local government in northeast Adamawa State, the second such big catch by the insurgents in the past weeks.
“They seized the Madagali council secretariat,” Isa Yambu, a resident of Madagali, told Anadolu Agency.
“There were no casualties because it was an easy ride for them. They came with armored personnel carriers and other weapons,” he said.
“The soldiers did not engage them because they were obviously more in number and better armed,” Yambu suggested.
The local resident, however, said the whereabouts of the guards at the council headquarters were not known yet.
“We cannot conclude that they died. They may have run away,” he added.
An army officer in Mubi area of Adamawa also confirmed the attack but he denied that troops had retreated.
“They did not meet any of our men there partly because it happened on a Saturday when offices were shut,” he told AA, asking not to be named.
“They can’t stay their long because they risk being leveled with fighter jets,” suggested the officer.
It is not immediately clear whether the army troops have launched any counter offensive as at the time of filing this report.
Nigeria’s Air Force fighter jets have been stationed in Yola, the capital of Adamawa, since Boko Haram attacked their regional headquarters in Maiduguri, the provincial capital of the neighboring Borno State, in December.
There has been no official comment on the Madagali incident.
The takeover of Madagali comes weeks after the militants had taken over and hoisted their flags on Gwoza, a hilly town in Borno.
On Wednesday, Boko Haram upped the ante seizing a mobile police training school just on the outskirts of Gwoza.
Nigeria is battling a five-year insurgency which seems to have defied almost two years of intense military operations designed to flush out the militants from the northern region.
Boko Haram became uncontrollably violent in 2009 after its leader Mohammed Yusuf was killed in police custody – hours after being captured alive along with a few of his lieutenants.
Nigeria, Turkey and the United States have designated the group a terrorist organization.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has a $7 million bounty placed on his head by Washington.
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