Barely 24 hours after Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State declared the state Boko Haram-free and “safer than other cities in Nigeria”, members of the Boko Haram sects invaded and captured Marte Local Government Area of the State.
Platinum.ng gathered that the insurgents took the Marte military base troops unawares as well as the 153 Task Force Battalion, on the eve of Sunday, June 2 and in the process, razed “everything”.
A military source who observed the incident noted that “the insurgents seemed not to have intended harming any civilian, but only to capture the town.”
The source disclosed that the soldiers engaged the insurgents in a fierce gun battle for about an hour before they were overpowered and sought their escape routes.
“We engaged them in a fierce encounter for about an hour. Initially, we were about getting victorious over them, but they overpowered us, and all troops in the burning base were set asunder, with all of us fleeing in all directions in the bush.
“I can tell you that we were about defeating them; but God knows the tactics they later deployed and the defeat turned against us; we all fled; they are in control of the town now.”
Another source noted that the number of soldiers killed could not be ascertained due to the sporadic shooting by the sect men.
“casualty figures cannot be confirmed on both sides, with all of us fleeing in all directions into the bush, many of us who are lucky to find our way to Maiduguri or any safe community will elope to their home states across the country to relieve themselves of the trauma”, he said.