Travellers stranded on Maiduguri-Damaturu highway as soldiers, Boko Haram engage in gun battle

Nigerian soldiers engaged Boko Haram insurgents in a gun battle on Sunday, March 7. 

Premium Times reports that traffic along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway was stopped for over three hours while the battle raged on. 

After the shootout, soldiers were said to have escorted a long convoy of stranded travellers to Damaturu. 

According to security sources, the shootout took place at Lawan-Mainari village, which is about two kilometres from Jakana town.

 A military base had reportedly been attacked by the terrorists but they were repelled by soldiers who matched them fire for fire.

Jakana which has suffered several attacks in the last 10 years is some kilometres from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state capital. 

Jakana resident, military source give an account of what happened.

A local security operative identified as Bukar Adam, who lives in Jakana, said movement was halted on the highway by soldiers for over three hours to prevent civilians from getting injured.

 Senior military personnel who spoke to a Premium Times reporter on condition of anonymity also confirmed the incident but declined to give details.

 The source stated: “All I know is that our soldiers are engaging the terrorists who were out to cause mayhem on the highway." The fighters were mostly from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group, PR Nigeria reports. 

They reportedly fired machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades from gun trucks as they stormed the area. 

Ground troops were assisted by air component of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) who responded promptly. 

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