A top military officer was reported dead as Nigerian soldiers fought back ISWAP fighters during an attack on Askira, a town in Borno state, Northeast Nigeria, sources said.
The killed officer, a serving General who commanded a military Brigade in Chibok, ran into an ambush by ISWAP while leading a reinforcement team to support troops in Askira town.
ISWAP terrorists who drove in a long convoy of 13 gun trucks, were sighted by locals this morning as they advanced towards Askira town in Askira-Uba local government of Borno state, Northeast Nigeria.
The deputy speaker of Borno state House of Assembly, Engineer Abdullahi Askira, confirmed the incident to HumAngle, corroborating the death of the Brigade commander.
“We had earlier received an alarm from our people who are mostly farmers that they sighted scores of terrorists all armed driving from Ngulde axis as they headed for Askira,” he said.
Though the warnings were sent out two hours before the attack, HumAngle gathered that Akira town eventually came under fire around 9 a.m. WAT.
A local vigilante operative who said he spotted the attackers moving into Askira from Ngulde village said “they came in 13 moving gun trucks and began to attack the military base near the town. Some later started shooting and setting buildings on fire before the military came in to challenge them,” he said.
Abdullahi Askira confirmed that “the troops tried their best because they engaged them effectively even before the air force jet arrived.”
He said many buildings were burnt “but luckily none of the residents of Askira was killed during the attack.”
“But on a very sad note, we learnt that a senior military officer that led the reinforcement team from Chibok was said to have died during the fight.”
Most of the residents of Askira who fled their homes had since returned to their destroyed homes hours after the attackers were forced to withdraw.
HumAngle gathered that the suspected ISWAP fighters have since last week scaled up attacks around the Askira Uba axis.
Last week, the group reportedly staged a major abduction of seven people including three younger brothers of the reigning Emir of Askira.
The terrorists had three days ago attacked Chilangal village and set up some buildings there.
Askira Uba is one of the local governments in Borno state that shares woodland borders linking Sambisa forest.
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