Troops of the Nigerian Army on Tuesday repelled attacks coordinated by Boko Haram at Moloi Village on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the latest onslaught on the beleaguered city in Nigeria’s violence-wracked northeast.
Brig.-Gen. Bulama Biu, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division and Commander Sector 1 of Operation Lafiya Dole, confirmed the development in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) late on Tuesday.
The jihadists reportedly fired sporadic shots in an attempt to infiltrate the community at about 6:30 p.m., forcing villagers to flee.
The development sparked speculations that the insurgents were on course to attacking Maiduguri, the capital but Biu dismissed the report as misleading.
He said that `gallant’ troops had repelled an attempt by the terrorists to infiltrate Moloi community.
“Troops neutralized a number of the insurgents and repelled the attack,’’ the GOC stated.
`Neutralized’ is a military term to say that jihadists were killed but the commander did not state the exact number of insurgents killed by troops.
Biu said that those “spinning’’ reports that Maiduguri was under siege were not based in the metropolis, adding that he had visited the scene of attack.
“The insurgents came and fired some shots but troops engaged and repelled them. Some disgruntled elements are peddling misleading information that Maiduguri is under attack.
“How can Maiduguri be under attack when we already repelled them?
“They attempted to infiltrate Moloi village in the outskirts of Maiduguri but they were immediately countered.
“As I speak to you now, I am standing in Molai village. Troops are exploiting the area in hot pursue of the fleeing insurgents,” said Biu.
He called on residents of Maiduguri not to panic, stressing that the situation was under control.
Boko Haram has been fighting to enthrone a strict Islamic code in Northern Nigeria since 2009.
The jihadists have been staging sporadic attacks in some communities in the northeast, although the Federal Government appears to have decimated them.