hundreds of people trapped when Boko Haram raises flags on Mars
On Sunday, Army Chief of Staff Major General Ibrahim Attahiru announced a 48-hour deadline for the return of troops from Operation Lafia Dole.
Hundreds of people have been trapped in towns and villages after Boko Haram fighters moved Nigerian troops to Mars local government in Borno state more than a week ago.
Reliable sources told the Daily Trust that terrorists loyal to the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP) province have also planted their flags in many locations, including military posts in New Marta and Cyrenova, the largest city in the local government.
On Sunday, Chief of Staff of the Army (COAS) Major General Ibrahim Attahiru announced a 48-hour deadline for Operation Lafia Dole troops to retake Mars from Boko Haram terrorists.
He also ordered them to return Cyrene, Kirta, Vulgo, Chikingudo, and many other communities around the Mars and Ngala local government areas.
Our correspondents report that after several weeks of attempts to capture the strategic city, Mars fell into the hands of Boko Haram on Monday 15 February.
It became known that the terrorists also took over military training on Mars, including high-end combat vehicles and vehicles.
Army facilities of the 22nd Armored Brigade on Mars, including the 153rd Infantry Battalion located at the same base, were supposed to provide security in the area. It became known that the brigade commander was redeployed.
Sources said that after the withdrawal of Nigerian troops Adventure “Boko Haram” placed his men in strategic positions, while others perform police functions, giving directions to local residents who can not leave such places as Kirenova and others.
“The terrorists took people hostage in the city. They now control mosques, hospitals and other government buildings, ”said one of our sources.
Another source said: “They are in complete control of Mars and its surroundings, giving directions as to when people can get out. This is similar to what happened many years ago when they established their territory on the outskirts of Cyrene, close to Nigeria’s border with Cameroon.
“People should ask their permission before doing anything. I pray that the Nigerian authorities will soon mobilize and return the city, ”he said.
Mars is located more than 130 km from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, on the western coast of Lake Chad.
After the attack on Boko Haram, city military agents were forced to move to Dikwa, 90 km from Maiduguri.
What COAS said of Mars
During his visit to Dikwa, Major General Attahira, addressing the troops at Army Supercamp 9 in Dikwa, which also fell into the hands of Boko Haram on 19 February but was returned by the troops 24 hours later, said they should return. to Mars.
An impeccable source told the Daily Trust that the commander of the 22nd Brigade in Dikva, Brigadier General Y. Ibrahim, has also been redeployed.
“I just spoke with the theater commander and the commander of the 7th division, the general (GOC). You must not disappoint these people.
“Go back and do whatever it takes and I’ll be right behind you,” he told the soldiers, warning them not to be overwhelmed by the Boko Haram rebels.
“You are aware of the recent attack on Dikva and Mars. You shouldn’t let it happen again. Follow them and clean up those bastards, ”he said.
Many supercamps were established during the time of former Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai (RTD) and were intended to serve as safe zones from where troops could launch a serious offensive.
How Boko Haram’s fighters conquered Mars
The Daily Trust reports that at least seven Nigerian soldiers assigned to the 153rd Infantry Battalion on Mars have been killed after terrorists attacked the area about nine days ago.
The source said that there was a serious confrontation between the troops, which had to withdraw, leaving the terrorists in the city.
“Only one truck and two company cars were restored. All other heavy ranged combat weapons were destroyed or taken as loot, ”the source said.
He said that most of the rebel attacks on targets were launched “from the Monguno road, but during the last assault, the rebels unexpectedly arrived from the direction of Dikwa.
“And before that they got access to the city and mixed with the repatriates. The soldier could not repel the shot from the shooter, because the repatriated civilians would certainly die.
Even when support for the air arrived, the jet could not fire any weapon to counter them. Of course, the soldiers had to move to the city of Dikva. “
In December 2020, the Borno state government relocated 500 displaced families to New Mars, and sources said many are still under Boko Haram’s rule there.
One of the returnees to Mars, Kullima Ibrahim, who escaped, said the inhabitants lived in relative peace until the recent attacks.
Troops will demand Mars – Zulum
The Governor of Borno Babagan State Umar Zulum expressed confidence that Nigerian troops would return Mars and its surroundings within 48 hours, placed before them.
The Governor made the announcement Monday at the official launch of the Northeast Development Commission’s (RRI) rapid response projects.
“I want to make sure that my administration fully supports the military and other security services to reclaim the administrative region of Mars that was attacked and is currently under Boko Haram occupation.
“These new attacks in parts of the state, especially Dikwa and Mars, as well as other resettled communities, would not stop the current administration in its campaign for reconstruction, reconstruction and relocation to the state,” Zulum said.
“The troops must save the inhabitants in time”
Referring to the latest developments in Dikwa, security expert Salihu Bahari said: “In the last three months of 2020 and to date, ISWAP fighters have undertaken bold attacks on Mars more than six times and were pushed back by Nigerian forces until recently. attack.
“ISWAP is interested in places like Mars because it has a wide swath of unmanned borders and its fighters can easily enter and leave Nigeria with their supplies, including food and logistics such as weapons.”
Public relations analyst Abubakar Mohammed Careto said Mars is economically important to the government and the people and urged the military to do everything in their power to ensure that Mars is effectively protected.
“Mars is an important economic city not only for Borno, but also for Nigeria. When Boko Haram first attacked the city in 2013, Mars had 5,000 hectares (12,355 acres) of wheat and rice.
“All this was then left to rot; According to the agency, the Chad Basin Development Agency alone lost 200 tons of grain due to the outcome of the attack in 2013.
Besides the economic and agricultural power of Mars, its proximity to the shores of Lake Chad, and other important areas of Boko Haram’s activity, Mars is indeed of great interest to Boko Haram.
“Therefore, the government should not allow the rebels to dominate Mars and its surroundings.
“We need Mars to increase grain production and to ensure that the Chad Basin Development Agency returns when it’s safe.
“The directives given by the chief of staff of the army indicating the time of the return of Mars are moral reinforcement for the troops and a demonstration of seriousness.
“This action will also help win the hearts of local people,” said Careto.
“Another source in safety feared that people trapped on Mars and in neighboring villages could be indoctrinated by rebels if nothing is done urgently.
But one of the army commanders in Maiduguri said, “This marching order is very timely … Our troops are actively working to get them out of all common areas.”
The Daily Trust recalled that in 2012 Mars was invaded by Boko Haram militants, who held power for two years at the height of their territorial conquests.
However, on February 2, 2015, the Nigerian army recaptured the city from terrorists, including major cities such as Gambooru, Mafa, Mallam Fatori and Abadam.
5 people killed in Dumboa
At least five internally displaced persons (IDPs) were killed Sunday in the Dumboa local government area of the state.
Internally displaced persons were reportedly going to search for firewood outside Damboa City when the incident occurred. According to Abu Damboa, a member of the local monitoring group, the IDPs went missing when they did not return.
“We have received reports that some IDPs are missing. So, we started to act, but later we found five of them decapitated two kilometers from the place where the trees fell, ”he said.
Humanitarian sources also confirmed the incident, stating that the victims were buried according to Islamic rites.
Source: – Daily Trust