Boko Haram kills 17 soldiers in Borno, cuts off Maiduguri from power grid

No fewer than 17 soldiers were killed in confrontations between the military and Boko Haram insurgents along Bama-Gwoza road in Borno State on Friday night.

Many soldiers were also said to have been abducted by the insurgents in the confrontations, even as the large number of casualties on the Boko Haram’s side, could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.

The insurgents were said to have attacked Firgi, 20 kilometres north of Pulka along the road from Gwoza to Bama.

They were also said to have killed 13 soldiers in the crossfire that lasted for over two hours.

The insurgents, whose number of casualties could not be ascertained, were said to have forced the military to retreat.

They were equally said to have carted away some arms, ammunition and vehicles belonging to the Nigerian Army.

A source disclosed that during the crossfire around 10 p.m on January 17, 2020 on Firgi, “13 government forces members were killed with four of their vehicles taken away. The insurgents were back on the same axis the second day, Saturday to continue from where they stopped.”

The terrorists were said to have attacked a military company at Banki junction on Bama-Gwoza road at 10 p.m.

It was gathered that the battle lasted for about three hours (10p.m. to 1a.m.), with both sides pushing for victory.

The casualties on the side of the military were four, while the number of casualities on the side of the insurgents was not known.

The insurgents also abducted a yet-to-be ascertained number of soldiers and carted away prized arms and ammunition.

Confirmation from the military was not successful as at the time of filing this report as text messages to the Army spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, and the spokesman of the military joint task force on counter insurgency in the North-east – Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Isa Ado, were not responded to.

Meanwhile, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) on Sunday disclosed that Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State has been cut off from electricity supply from the national grid.

TCN in a statement from its General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Ndidi Mbah explained that supply to Maiduguri and its environs were cut off because the insurgent group, Boko Haram damaged a number of its transmission facilities thereby preventing it from supplying electricity to the area.

“The Transmission Company of Nigeria hereby informs the public that Maiduguri and its environs have been cut off from the national grid since January 17, 2020, due to damages to TCN’s equipment by insurgents.

“The incident affected the 330kV transmission line between Maiduguri and Damaturu. Also, the Damboa – Maiduguri 132kV transmission line has equally been disconnected from the grid for sometime, for the same reason,” said Mbah in the statement.

The TCN stated that ithad located the fault on the Maiduguri – Damaturu line and had arranged to repair the line, adding that bulk electricity supply would be restored to Maiduguri on or before today.

“TCN pledges to continue to work to ensure bulk electricity transmission and grid expansion nationwide. The company wishes to use this opportunity to commend the Nigeria Armed Forces for their continued support especially in areas prone to insecurity. TCN regrets inconveniences caused by this problem to electricity consumers in the affected areas,” she added. – Thisday.

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