The relative peace in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital was on Saturday night shattered as Boko Haram insurgents launched a massive attack on the town.
It was learnt that the attack started at about 7.13pm when the terrorists attempted to invade the state capital through Wanori village.
Eyewitnesses say gunshots rented the air as the Boko Haram Terrorists advanced to Dalori, opposite the University of Maiduguri, setting homes ablaze.
On witness, who resides near the university, said following the sound of heavy gunfire, people around the area fled to other relatively safe locations in the town.
Another resident of Maiduguri, Tijjani Ali, told PREMIUM TIMES that “The whole village has been set on fire”.
He, however, lamented that soldiers manning the south-eastern gate of Maiduguri along Bama road, were preventing fleeing residents from entering the city.
The spokesman of the Operation Lafiya Zama Dole, the military task force charged with combating insurgency in the North-east, Colonel Mustapha Anka, confirmed the attack but declined details on casualty likely to have been incurred in the attack.
He simply said the military was “on top of the situation”.
A local vigilante official, Gava Abbas, said, “It isn’t a good day for us today; the whole town is burnt down and many are feared killed, but my colleague who is also trapped outside Maiduguri said he can’t give details immediately”.
It was learnt that the decision of the soldiers to prevent the fleeing residents of Wanori village from gaining entrance to Maiduguri might not be unconnected to fears that Boko Haram might be using the attack as a cover to sneak in suicide bombers.
This fear cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand as Boko Haram have of recent used attacks on the outskirts of Maiduguri city to create some sort of cover for suicide bombers to sneak into the state capital to attack populated residential areas.