Boko Haram, a Nigerian terrorist group with ties to al Qaeda, has launched another attack on a military barracks in Borno state, Nigeria. The attack occurred today in Bama, about 65 kilometers from Maiduguri, where earlier this month Boko Haram dramatically attacked a military facility, and refuted government claims that the group is on the run.
In the early hours of this morning, Boko Haram militants attacked a base belonging to the 202 Tank Battalion, killing an unknown number of soldiers, as well as their families who lived with them at the barracks.
Witnesses have said that “dozens, or perhaps even hundreds, of insurgents swarmed the barracks in a convoy of 4X4 trucks, armed with assault rifles, explosives and rocket-propelled-grenades,” according to Agence France Presse. The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and petrol-bombs has also been confirmed.
The attack lasted until 7 a.m., at which time the military deployed fighter jets from Maiduguri, forcing Boko Haram to flee.
It is thought that Boko Haram insurgents massed near or on the Cameroonian side of the border, and attacked the base from the east. Nigeria has said that it needs Cameroon’s help in order to “silence” Boko Haram, and Cameroon claims to have already stepped up security along the Nigerian border. However, Borno officials have accused Cameroonian authorities of habitually refusing to arrest or chase Boko Haram militants fleeing across the border after attacks in Nigeria.
More violence in the area
This is the latest of many Boko Haram attacks in Bama this year. In May, some 200 heavily armed Boko Haram militants launched coordinated attacks, killing 22 policemen, 14 prison officials, two soldiers, and four civilians, and freed more than 100 prison inmates. Arriving in buses and pickup trucks and dressed in army uniforms, the militants attacked an army barracks and a police station and then raided the town prison; 13 militants were killed in the operation.
On Aug. 5, Boko Haram again attacked a police station, which resulted in the deaths of one policeman and 17 Boko Haram fighters. Authorities recovered AK-47 assault rifles, bombs, and RPG equipment after the attack. Later that month, on Aug. 27, 18 people were killed when Boko Haram militants dressed in Nigerian military gear opened fire on members of the civilian JTF, a vigilante group helping the army fight against Boko Haram.
Earlier this month, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau appeared in a video, warning of more attacks to come: “By Allah, we will never stop. Don’t think we will stop in Maiduguri.”
Clearly, Boko Haram has not.
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