The Nigerian Army has denied that two communities in Borno State, Gubio and Magumeri, were attacked by Boko Haram terrorists on Wednesday night.
It said the attack was targeted at Nigerian Army troops deployed in the areas.
According to it, the terrorist group launched the attack on the troops in order to gain access to loot food items and other logistics from the shops in the towns’ market.
The deputy director, army public relations, 7 Division, Colonel Ado Isa, stated this in a statement on Thursday. He added that the attack was repelled by the troops.
The caretaker chairman of Gubio Local Government Council, Zanna Modu, who spoke to newsmen earlier on Thursday in Maiduguri, had confirmed that the terrorist group looted food items, razed houses and public buildings in the communities.
Earlier report had also claimed that the terrorist gained access to the two communities due to absence of soldiers.
But in its response the army said, “The attention of the Nigerian Army in the Theatre of Operation Lafiya Dole has been drawn to reports on various media platforms indicating an attack on Gubio and Magumeri communities in Borno State at about 1735hrs of Wednesday the 21st of August, 2019.
“To avoid further misinformation that could create unnecessary tension, the Theatre Command wishes to state that the attack was targeted at Nigerian Army troops deployed in the areas to enable the terrorists gain access to shops in the market in the towns to loot food items and other logistics. The attack was however repelled by the troops.
“Consequently, due to the fierce exchange of fire, the terrorists were forced to withdraw in disarray from the town resulting in damages on buildings and property along their route of withdrawal.
“There were no casualty on the security force (troops) and no loss or damage to own equipment as wrongly insinuated on social media. However, a vigilante sadly lost his life in a crossfire. Also, some civilians in the area reportedly sustained various degrees of injuries.”
The Nigerian Army claims, however, remain highly disputed as eye-witness accounts and video footages show massive destructions on government properties and institutions. The military hard earlier admitted pulling out of Gubio, exposing the territory to occupation by terrorists.