Boko Haram attacks another base in Borno

Bama, Maiduguri.gif

Location of latest Boko Haram attack. Image from Google Maps.

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.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • William John says:

    Boko Haram was initially encouraged and financed by politicians, and now they’ve lost control of the created growing snake. This group is growing more deadly everyday and will within 12 months be able to occupy and seize and entire town.
    Defeating the group will not be easy and can lead to the break-up of this great country. Boko Haram might surprise everyone with an attack on the capital Abuja.

  • Femi says:

    They have been weakened. Make no mistake about it. A few spectacular attack here and there does not obviate this truth. At a time the whole northeastern flank of nigeria was under daily assault but now with the complicity or negligence of the cameroonians they launch such cross border raids. I live in abuja and I say with authority nigeria is not Mali and this guys cannot and will not overwhelm the Nigerian state

  • DR says:

    Certainly hope Femi is right. But it certainly sounds like the 202 Tank Battalion could have done a better job staying prepared for such an attack and inflict a lot of pain on a convoy of 4 by 4’s.

  • igbi says:

    William John.
    You lack knowledge and intelligence.
    You should take notes from the poster who posted just after you


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