World Bulletin / News Desk
Boko Haram militants have reportedly seized the town of Gwoza in Nigeria's restive northeastern Borno State after killing dozens of people in an early Wednesday morning raid, according to locals.
"As we speak Gwoza town has been captured by the terrorists," Isa Bala, a local resident who has fled the town after the attack, told Anadolu Agency by phone.
"No fewer than 68 people died in the ruthless attack waged with about 10 armored personnel carriers and sophisticated weapons," he said.
According to Bala, the insurgents first attacked the town on Tuesday but were overpowered by the military which had sent troops from the neighboring Bama town.
He said the insurgents had suffered a few casualties before retreating.
"We were shocked to see them again this morning in huge number and with more weapons," said Bala.
Usman Danlami, a member of the local vigilante group, confirmed the attack.
"Our reinforcement was forced to pull back after seeing their strength," he told AA.
"Boko Haram flag has now been hoisted in Gwoza town and this is devastating news," Danlami said.
According g to him, the Wednesday morning attack claimed over 60 persons and total takeover of the (Gwoza) local government area.
Defense spokesman Chris Olukolade has not responded to enquiries about the latest attack in Gwoza.
Gwoza is the headquarter of the Gwoza local government area of Borno state, the birthplace of the five-year old Boko Haram insurgency which has claimed no fewer than 4,000 lives this year alone.
The purported takeover of Gwoza is another big win for the insurgents who last month hoisted their flag on Damboa, another major Borno town.
Damboa, a town more than 80kms away from Maiduguri, has suffered repeated attacks from the insurgents including a 2013 attack in which over 200 people were massacred.
Borno is one the three northeastern states under emergency rule, imposed last year May to rid the region of Boko Haram, which turned violent in 2009 following the extrajudicial murder of its leader Mohammed Yusuf in police custody.
The group has since been blamed for the destruction of public infrastructure, private businesses and displacement of at least six million people in northern Nigeria.Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Ağustos 2014, 10:10