Boko Haram Takfiri militants have reportedly captured another town in northeastern Nigeria after heavy clashes with government troops.
Residents and a local lawmaker of the town of Bama in Borno state claimed on Tuesday that the militants had driven out the government troops and taken control of a military base in the town after launching a pre-dawn raid on Monday.
“Bama is now in the hands of Boko Haram because not a single soldier remains there,” said Bama resident Umar Dahiru, adding that Boko Haram is now in control of the military base.
The seizure of Bama came after a military jet reportedly bombarded its own troops there, an account which Borno senator Ahmed Zanna also supported.
“The jet could not distinguish between soldiers and Boko Haram and bombarded the military barracks which was at the time under the control of soldiers,” he said.
Zanna further said the aerial bombing destroyed the military barracks and forced soldiers “to flee towards Maiduguri along with thousands of civilians.”
However, the Nigerian army said in a message posted on its Twitter on Monday evening that it had pushed back the Boko Haram militants and added, “The claim concerning the air force isn’t true.”
Last week, the Takfiri militants overran the border town of Gamboru Ngala after gaining control of Gwoza.
Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly gun and bomb attacks in various parts of Nigeria since the beginning of its militancy in 2009. Over 10,000 people have so far been killed in the assaults.
Boko Haram whose name means “Western education is forbidden” says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.
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