Boko Haram, on Sunday, captured Marte, headquarters of Marte Local Government Area of Borno State, dependable sources confirmed to Daily Trust in Maiduguri.
One of the sources said the insurgents stormed the Marte military base, 153 Task Force Battalion, shooting sporadically and, in the process, razed “everything.”
“The insurgents seem not to have intended harming any civilian, but only to capture the town; so they stormed the military base, taking troops there unawares at about 6pm, much less than an hour to break fast time,” the source confirmed.
“We engaged them in a fierce encounter for about an hour,” a source who fled the base unscathed to Maiduguri, narrated to Daily Trust on Monday, adding that, “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.”
He stressed: “I can tell you that we were about defeating them; but God knows the tactics they later deployed and the defeat turned against us; we all fled; they are in control of the town now.”
According to another fleeing source, “casualty figures cannot be confirmed on both sides, with all of us fleeing in all directions into the bush, and many of us finding their way to Maiduguri, and majority still roaming in the bush.
“Many of us who are lucky to find our way to Maiduguri or any safe community will elope to their home states across the country to relieve themselves of the trauma for a few weeks before returning to Maiduguri for the convergence of the troops,” the source, who was on his way to his home state in the Northwest region said.
Though security agencies in Maiduguri have not yet issued any statement on the incident, our reporter made efforts to reach the military authorities.
When contacted on Monday for comments on the recent attack on Marte, in Borno state, the phone numbers of the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Colonel Sagir Musa, were unreachable.
He has not responded to a text message enquiry sent to him over the matter by our reporter as well.