Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, is under heavy attack by suspected Boko Haram terrorists who, according to fleeing residents, may have surrounded the town.
Explosions and gunshots are being heard in some parts of the Yobe State capital.
A resident of the city, Yaya Haruna, said that the shooting started at about 6a.m.
“It is as if they have surrounded us all here; there is sound of explosion and serious shooting. We are all lying down on the floor with our families. Please pray for our safety, that we survive this… ”
“We are in serious confusion now, we are just hearing gunshots and explosions on the southern part of the city and people are fleeing,” said another embattled resident, Malam Abdulmalik.
The resident said he was woken by loud sounds of gunshots and explosions which started at about 6a.m.
An official of the SSS in Maiduguri, who usually does not want to be named in the media, confirmed in a text message sent to our reporter that “Damaturu may be under attack now”.
Damaturu is 135 kilometres west of Maiduguri, the Borno HaramAn
Air Force jet has arrived Damaturu, and is engaging the Boko Haram fighters.
“We are hearing the sound of the jet fighter hovering the skies amid heavy sounds of explosions. We don’t know what to do. We are still lying on the ground inside our room,” said Yaya Haruna, a civil servant and resident of the city.
The military personnel on ground in Damaturu are said to be careful in their response to the sudden attack.
They said they want to try as much as possible to avoid the shooting of civilians in their exchange of gunfire with the terrorists.
Residents say shootings have subsided and that everywhere is now quiet in Damaturu.
“We no longer hear the gunshots and blast anymore but the whole town is quiet except for the movement of vehicles that sound like military trucks”, said Yaya Haruna.
A police officer, who does not want to be named said that the gunmen invaded the town coming through Gujba town.
“They came through Gujba town and their first attack was the Police Mobile Force Base along Gujba road. We don’t know the details on casualty, but I fear it could be bad.”
“We are still under fire,” the Yobe State Police Commissioner, Marcus Danladi, told PREMIUM TIMES when contacted. “Kindly sympathise with us. There is nothing I can tell you now.”
As Police Commissioner Danladi disclosed that loud sounds of gunshot could be heard in the background in a telephone chat.
“I’m sure you can hear the sound,” he said. “That tells you we are still under fire.”
Meanwhile, in what looks like a coordinated attack coinciding with developments in Damaturu, The Street Journal gathered that heavy explosions were reported this morning near a cantonment in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital. It also gathered that residents were greeted with heavy bomb blasts in the early hours of this morning with attendant panic and pandemonium in the neighborhood.