The war against terrorism has suffered a setback as Boko Haram captured Marte Local Government Area (LGA) of Borno State after an attack on a military base in the area.
One of the soldiers who was in the military base, but who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the insurgents stormed the 153 Task Force Battalion base on Sunday and opened fire on the troops. The terrorists later set the military base on fire.
The source said the attack, which took place at about 6 p.m. caught the troops unaware.
News of the capture of Marte broke as troops from the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) battled insurgents, mostly fighters of the Islamic State for West Africa Province (ISWAP), in Arege and Malkonory in the Lake Chad area, killing 20 insurgents.
“We engaged them in a fierce encounter for about an hour. Initially, we were about getting victorious over them, but they overpowered us, and all troops in the burning base were set asunder, with all of us fleeing in all directions in the bush,” the source said.
However, efforts to get Army spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, to give details of the clash were abortive as calls made to his telephone line were not answered.
But MNJTF spokesman, Col. Timothy Antigha, who gave an update on the killing of the insurgents, said the multinational troops killed over 20 terrorists operating around Arege, Malkonory and Tumbum Rego general area.
The clash between the multinational troops and ISWAP came just as the terrorist group,
Antigha said gun trucks, arms and ammunition, as well as a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device, which was meant to disrupt troops advance, was also destroyed in the gun duel between the troops and the terrorists.