At least three soldiers and two members of the Civilian Joint Task Force were killed while others were wounded in an ambush reportedly coordinated by Boko Haram insurgents at Ja’alta along Gajiram-Monguno road on Saturday.
The convoy comprising military personnel and members of the Civilian-JTF were on its way to its base in Baga in Kukawa Local Government Area when the soldiers came under heavy attack by Boko Haram faction of the ISWAP in five gun trucks.
The attack came some hours after Governor Babagana Zulum visited Baga on a working visit where he supported the newly resettled Baga Community with food items.
A Civilian-JTF operative who escaped the ambush said that a heavy fight ensued with the terrorist for more than one hour as the military sent reinforcements where some terrorist were killed.
“The insurgents shot two of our Civilian-JTF and three soldiers,” he reportedly told PR Nigeria.
“Several others were wounded including one inside my truck. The troops of Sector 3 Headquarters from Monguno were quickly deployed in repelling the ambush and killed some of the terrorists.
“We are not part of the governor’s entourage. You know the Civilian-JTF were newly enlisted to join the military in the front line by complimenting their efforts to fight Boko Haram.
“So, we were returning to our base when we fell into the ambush.”
It was also learnt that the governor’s entourage comprising of senior government officials and security advanced team had arrived Baga town at about 10 a.m. on Saturday while the governor was flown into the town with a helicopter for the official visit.
Meanwhile, the state government has denied a media report on an attack on the convoy of Governor Babagana Zulum.
The governor’s spokesperson, Isa Gusau, in a statement issued on Sunday, said Mr Zulum travelled to Baga and spent a day supervising the distribution of food and other relief to thousands of residents and returned to Maiduguri safely with no hitch whatsoever.
The statement read:
“For the record, we write to quickly clarify that contrary to a ‘breaking news’ by an online news medium, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum was neither attacked nor was any component of his convoy attacked by anyone.
“The governor was actually in Baga from Saturday to Sunday, during which he supervised the distribution of food and cash support to 5,000 residents and he assessed major reconstruction and resettlement efforts with no hitch whatsoever.
“While we continually accord respect to all media organizations as supportive partners, we importantly clarify that we have no knowledge of the ‘breaking news’ in question.”