The Nigerian Army has said four civilians and three Boko Haram insurgents died on Saturday as terrorists attempted to scuttle the postponed general elections in the Jidari Polo community, Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.
The army said the attacks occurred in the early hours when an unconfirmed number of Boko Haram terrorists used “Person-borne improvised explosive device in their highly desperate, orchestrated and collaborative resolve with their cohorts and sponsors to scuttle the 2019 general elections.”
The acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa, on Saturday in a release, said troops of 251 Task Force Battalion in conjunction with the civilian Joint Task Force repelled the attack, mopped up and cleared the general area.
Musa added that the encounter led to the elimination of three terrorists and the recovery of two AK-47 rifles.
He said, “Unfortunately, four civilians lost their lives as a result of the terrorists’ gunfire in addition to a lethal explosion mainly targeted at a mosque at a prime time of early morning prayers.
“The carrier of the PBIED and a CJTF who strived to prevent the suicide bomber from accessing the mosque also lost their lives due to the IED explosion.
“At the moment, troops have dominated the area, cordon and search as well as exploitation, are ongoing. The situation in the area is now calm. Normal routine activities are gradually going on. The army wishes to reiterate its resolve to ending the remnants of Boko Haram criminals thereby bringing an effective and an enduring end to terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria.”
Earlier, the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, said 11 persons were killed and 15 injured in the attack.
The commissioner in a text message to some journalists in the state said his on-the-spot assessment of the attack scene showed the casualties.
He said, “At 05.40hrs, gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists and suicide bombers infiltrated Gwozari/Kushari in Polo general area, Maiduguri. They shot sporadically and detonated IEDs strapped to their bodies.’’
He said 11 persons were killed including three suicide bombers during the attack. Chukwu added that 15 others sustained injuries and had been taken to the State Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri.
He said there were ongoing clearance operations by security teams in the attacked area, adding “Clearance operations are ongoing by teams of EOD, SARS, PMF, civil defence and military.”