By Olarewaju Kola
Boko Haram raided and burnt a remote community near Nigeria’s northeast Maiduguri, Borno provincial capital, forcing scores of residents to flee their homes.
The insurgents attacked Bale Shuwa, a settlement few kilometers away from the city center on Saturday night.
Residents said the insurgents fired several gun shots into the community and set houses on fire. The military immediately responded and the cross-fire forced scores of residents living around the area at the city outskirts to flee their homes.
“I fled my home with my family because the situation was tense. I was afraidn that anything could happen as Boko Haram and military exchanged gunshots,” Aliyu Mahmud, a resident told Anadolu Agency in Maiduguri.
The attack came barely an hour after a major shake up in the army which led to the removal of the commander of the military counter-insurgency and terrorism operation in the troubled northeast region, Maj. Gen. Abba Dikko.
General Dikko, who was deployed to the northeast late July, has now been replaced by Gen. Benson Akinroluyo, former General Commanding Officer (GOC) of an army division in Nigeria’s northeast central area.
Boko Haram has stepped up attacks on communities and military bases in recent times despite claims by army chief, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai that the insurgents were “spent forces.” There have been series of attacks around the Lake Chad area with a few casualties from the military.
The military is yet to confirm the number of casualties in the latest attack.