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Boko Haram siege forces aid workers to flee Borno town

Aid workers have begun leaving Gwoza a town in Borno State as insurgents on Tuesday laid siege to it.

The town was once declared the headquarters of the Boko Haram insurgents.

One of the residents of the town, Abubakar Ahmed, who spoke with our Correspondent on Wednesday, said, “The attempt by Boko Haram to overrun the town, which was successfully repelled by the Nigerian military had made NGOs in the town to start taking their leave.”

Ahmed who spoke on the telephone, added, “As we speak, all the staff of the NGOs are heading towards the helipad awaiting helicopters, for immediate evacuation to Maiduguri.”

“The movement of NGOs out of Gwoza town would portend danger in terms of food, social and medical needs to the larger population of the tens of hundreds of returnees who are beginning to settle down and pick up the pieces of their lives.”

He said many of the residents of the town had decided not to flee.

“Despite yesterday’s incidence, though we were frightened, we would not be forced to flee because the Nigerian military forces have given us confidence through their actions and the Commanding Officer is fully in control,” he said

A military source revealed that the insurgents made an attempt to penetrate the town on Tuesday.

The source, who spoke anonymously, said the exchange of fire lasted for over an hour.

He disclosed that the insurgents tried to attack from Yamteke axis with the intention to overrun Gwoza town again.

He said, “It was the same Yamteke that the insurgents previously used in penetrating and capturing Gwoza town and the attempt by Boko Haram yesterday was to recapture it again but, we resisted and successfully repelled them after three hours of fireworks”.

“They came in large numbers but, we did not let them come into the town as we took the fight to them right there along Yamteke axis, to avoid civilian casualties and thank God, we succeeded in doing that; we have no civilian casualties in yesterday’s attack.” – PUNCH

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