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Another story version of Maiduguri attack, which one should we believe



Boko Haram Islamists attacked a
military base in the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Friday
and freed dozens of insurgents from custody, the military said of the
latest raid in the embattled city.
Before storming the Giwa barracks, a notorious prison for Islamist
fighters, the gunmen opened fire in a residential neighbourhood and
razed many homes, witnesses said.
The attack is another blow to the military’s campaign against the
extremist group, which has been blamed for thousands of killings since
2009 in Africa’s most populous country and top oil producer.
An AFP reporter near the Giwa barracks said the shooting there
started shortly after 7:00 (0600 GMT).
Gunmen hurled explosives into the compound, causing several buildings
to catch fire, witnesses said.
A military source who requested anonymity told AFP that the
insurgents forced their way inside the barracks prison and “freed
dozens of their members”.
Asked about the report, defence spokesman Chris Olukolade told
AFP that “many insurgents are in flight. Whether they were those
who staged the attack or those who were held prisoner is not yet
In a separate statement, Olukolade said the insurgents have been hit
hard by military bombardments in recent weeks and Boko Haram
attacked the barracks “to boost their depleted stock of fighters.”
The insurgents have previously carried out a number of prison breaks,
but this appeared to be the most dramatic in many months.
The northeast has been under a state of emergency since May when
the military launched a major offensive aimed at crushing the Islamist
Defence officials have sought to portray the operation as a success but
the violence has continued unchecked.
Human Rights Watch on Friday said Boko Haram had carried out
more than 40 attacks already in 2014, with more than 700 people
killed, one of the highest rates of killing since the uprising began.
Many of those attacks have targeted defenceless civilians in remote
villages, leading to claims from the military that the insurgents were
no longer capable of striking anything but soft targets.
But the latest daring raid in Maiduguri, which followed a similar
attack in the city in December on the military and the airport, has
re-enforced the notion that Boko Haram is still able to hit heavily
fortified targets.
According to multiple witness accounts, the gunmen entered Maiduguri
after crossing a river on the fringes of the city, then passed through the
residential neighbourhood of Fauri.
They fired on civilians, witnesses said, but details on casualties were
not immediately available.
Students at the University of Maiduguri, which is near the barracks,
reported hearing sustained gunfire throughout the morning, but there
was no indication that students were specifically targeted.
“There have been several deafening explosions and unending gunfire
for the past one hour,” student Mercy Bitrus told AFP earlier on
According to the defence spokesman, the Islamists staged the attack in
response a series of military operations launched across the northeast
in recent days.
Those operations have destroyed Islamist camps and “killed many
insurgents”, Olukolade said.
As the violence persists, rights groups and rescue agencies have raised
the alarm about the condition of those caught up in the conflict.
The UN has said that nearly 300,000 people have fled their homes
since emergency rule was imposed in May and are struggling to access
relief materials because of the unrest.
“Even if the government cannot stop the attacks, at the very least it
can meaningfully assist the people who have been most devastated by
them,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights
Mean while another report claimed that they didn’t gain access to the barrack …….which one should we believe now ?

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