By Hussaini Mohammed Baba
The Boko Haram fighters who attacked Baga, in Borno State, yesterday have taken over the town, according to a report monitored on BBC Hausa this evening.
The report further said that the insurgents have erected their flag in front of the major fishing town’s main Friday prayer mosque and that its members led this morning’s prayer.
An eyewitness who fled the town this morning disclosed that the insurgents told the people of the town that they are Mamman Nur’s faction with allegiance to the IS and that civilians and their properties are not their targets.
He said they gave the option of staying in, or leaving, the town to which he and many others opted for the later and they left without being molested.
However, statement on Thursday by its spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, the army said the troops along with their Nigerian Navy counterparts put up a very determined fight to repel the attack throughout the night.
He further informed that “Sector 3 Operation LAFIYA DOLE sent in reinforcement” who went into “hot pursuit of the terrorists”.
According to the statement by Sani, the Director of Army Public Relations, a search, and rescue team has been constituted.
He said the Nigerian Air Force component has been mobilised and are engaging the fleeing terrorists.
“Unfortunately, a naval personnel was killed in action. So far, no further details of casualties yet as efforts are ongoing to clear the terrorists hiding in Baga and environs,” he added.
The Army enjoined all to remain calm “as the troops conduct clearance and mop up operations”.
It also implored members of the general public to disregard any contrary information circulating on the attack, adding “we will keep you posted with development on the pursuit and mop up operations”.
It would be recalled that Baga had once, on the 8th of January, 2015, fallen to the Boko Haramites before being rescued by the Multi National Joint Force (MNJF).