2 Months ago a failed operation to capture a Boko haram camp in Gwoza resulted in heavy casualties on the side of Nigeria Army. During that failed operations the Army gifted Boko haram with 3 VVL ie Armored Personal Carriers, several desert Hilux and heavy weaponry were also seized from the Army. As usual the Army normally don’t disclose their loss to the public. These APC and weapons was used in Yesterday attack by Boko haram in Damaturu.
The day started just like any other day with routine patrols along Damaturu – Maiduguri road and Damaturu – Gujuba road. Then around 5:00 pm (1600 GMT) we received report of attack on B Division and JTF check point near NNPC Mega station. Special Forces and JTF went to the scene of the attack and engaged the Boko boys in a fire fight that lasted close to two hours. More re enforcement from JTF camp where brought in, and the terrorists made a retreat into the bush, JTF followed them with gunfire.
Unknown to us, the attack at B Division was a trick to move personal and equipment out of the camps, as JTF where chasing the Boko boys in the bush, the real attack started right in the heart of Damaturu, I was sitting in my room when I heard sound of automatic rapid fire from all direction of our camp, bullets where flying in all direction, I checked from the window, behold 2 Military VVL with mounted RPGs are releasing 100s upon 100s of rounds into all direction. I immediately jumped the window headed straight to fence and ran for my dear life.
It will be suicidal to face a VVL with an AK 47, after jumping the fence I fell on a trench and negotiated my way inside the bush. From the bush I could hear deafening gun sounds and explosions coming from all over the city, I quickly off my set in case someone decide to call me and the flash and ring tone could give away my position. I stayed there all night only to return around 3:00am when the firing have ceased.
In the early hours of today, we realized the scale and magnitudes of the attack, but what am reading on net is really a far cry from what actually took place.
1. 235 Battalion NA Damaturu completely destroyed. A lieutenant, a Captain and 7 junior officers killed. In return they killed 13 Boko haram members.
2. MOPOL 41 Damaturu, the Admim block, a segment of the barrack destroyed. 4 Hilux belonging to the squadron destroyed, two private cars belonging to the Squadron Commander burnt, a friend of the Commander who came to visit him was killed in the attack. 7 MOPOLs 2 Civilian killed. In return, they succeeded in destroying one of the VVL and killed about 21 Boko haram. But the official staff car of the Commander was taken away.
3. Damaturu Area Command completely destroyed. No casualty recorded, because the conventional police ( Atura ) stationed there and the area commander all fled the area before the Boko boys came.
4. Both B & C Divisions of the Nigeria Police completely destroyed. I don’t have casualties figures from them yet.
5. ATS Base Damaturu completely destroyed.
Only A Division, JTF HQ and Police HQ that where spared. One of the VVL got stucked in a sandy area near Yobe state University and was abandoned. All in all they lost 2 VVL and escaped with one.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.
One reason why we are not winning this war is our Airforce, give them a location to bomb, they tell you they are short of fuel, or the jets are undergoing repairs. When they do embark on a mission, they dropped obsolete bombs or even bomb the wrong location. Really the Airforce needs total overhaul. We really need to have our air supremacy count in this war.