DAILY FILE, With DAILY TRUST Report – Despite denials by the Nigerian military, Boko Haram fighters seized Baga, Doron-Baga, Kross Kawwa, Bunduran, Kekeno and Kukawa towns of Borno State after three days of fierce battles from Wednesday to Friday last week, Daily Trust learnt from impeccable military and political sources in Maiduguri yesterday.
All six towns are major population centres in Kukawa local government area of northern Borno. There are currently no Nigerian or Multinational forces in the areas, Daily Trust learnt from multiple sources last night.
The insurgents, driving in a convoy of more than ten fighter vehicles, used the main road from Kros Kawwa to launch coordinated attacks on Wednesday last week, December 26. They overrun the Multinational forces’ headquarters, a naval fighting base and a Marine Police base in some of the attacked areas, the sources said.
The insurgents first attacked a base of the multinational forces located in Mile Four (an area outside Baga town) at about 4pm and the military responded. Fighting took place till midnight after which the insurgents took control of the military base while our soldiers retreated. Commander of the multinational force, whose name was given as Brigadier General Hassan, was said to have escaped at night to a police base in Baga town alongside some of his men.
The following day, Thursday, the Nigerian military deployed fighter jets between 6 to 7am, bombing the multinational forces base hoping to prevent Boko Haram from carting away weapons in case they didn’t do that the previous night.
The insurgents, said multiple sources, then attacked Mile Three, where the Navy had a fighting base, close to the military. The Navy was said to have put up stiff resistance but eventually lost control on Thursday. A commander of the base whose name was given as Air Commodore Degel escaped to Monguno.
On Friday, the insurgents moved to another naval base located about three kilometers north of Baga in an area popularly called Fish Dam on shores of the Lake Chad, through which imports and exports take place between Nigerians and Chadians.
The naval fighters weresafeguarding Nigerian waterways which the insurgents occasionally attempted to usein order to attack communities. The insurgents took over the base after a fight, it was learned. About 40 naval fighters escaped on a ship and local boats through portions of Lake Chad to a village called Kaiga in the Republic of Chad, where they were received by Chadian authorities.
The navy fighters, sources said, tried to escape with weapons into the lake even though the insurgents may have had their hands on some. The insurgents entered Baga town and attacked a marine police station on Thursday. They however spared residents, saying they were after military and civilian JTF fighters. The insurgents gave civilians the choice to stay or to freely leave the town. Majority of residents numbering about 2,000 trekked sixty kilometres to Monguno using bush paths. Commander of the Multinational forces and members of the civilian JTF were said to have joined the residents, whose knowledge of the terrain helped the party to reach Monguno.
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