4NAIJA: Boko Haram attacks army chief’s hometown yet again

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Boko Haram attacks army chief’s hometown yet again

Boko Haram insurgents on Monday launched a fresh attack on Buratai, a small community in Borno State, where Nigeria’s army chief, Tukur Buratai, comes from, just a week after a similar attack there killed two people.

The attack on Buratai was the fourth since February 2014, PRNigeria, which distributes media releases for the Nigerian military, reported Tuesday.

The website quoted the acting director of army public relations, Sani Usman, a colonel, as saying that the “suspected terrorists made a futile attempt to attack Buratai town in Borno State and military camp located in the area”.

In February 2014 when Buratai was first attacked by the group, Mr. Buratai, a major general, served as commander of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta.

His elevation a fortnight ago by President Muhammadu Buhari, as head of the army, has ostensibly drawn greater attention to the community, more so after Mr. Buratai vowed days after to crush Boko Haram and force its members to beg for mercy.

“As Chief of Army Staff, I will be actively involved in this ‘Operation Zaman Lafiya Dole’ to end the madness of Boko Haram if I will have your collective maximum support and cooperation,” he said in a speech in neigbouring Yobe State.

“Since Boko Haram terrorists have refused peace (Zaman Lafiya), we will now force them to accept peace.”

Two days after the remarks, the jihadist group staged a deadly onslaught on the community, killing two people and destroying homes including Mr. Buratai’s family home, in an attempt to seize the town.

Mr. Buratai was not present at the time of the attack in the early hours, security sources said at the time.

The latest attack was somewhat different, Mr. Usman said.

The militants arrived the community on Monday at about 9.30p.m.

After they were repelled by soldiers stationed there, they reinforced and returned by morning of Tuesday, he said.

“I am glad to inform you that the gallant soldiers rose to the occasion,” Mr. Usman said. “They however made concerted effort at about 3.00am this morning which was equally repelled by the gallant soldiers. The situation and town is cool and calm.”

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