How Bama fell to Boko Haram insurgents

How Bama fell to Boko Haram insurgents

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 3:54 pm

Nigerian soldiers: friendly fire hit positions hard

Nigerian soldiers: friendly fire hit positions hard

Fleeing residents of the northeastern Nigerian town of Bama  have narrated how Nigerian troops were dislodged by the Boko Haram insurgents in fiery exchanges Monday.

The residents told a foreign news agency that Nigerian troops had initially taken the upper hand in the battle for the town, but a mistaken aerial bombardment of Nigerian troops’ position  changed the scenario, with soldiers having to flee.

“The jet could not distinguish between soldiers and Boko Haram and bombarded the military barracks which was at the time under the control of soldiers,” said Yasir Zarami.

“The aerial bombing destroyed the military barracks and forced soldiers to flee towards Maiduguri along with thousands of civilians.”

“More than 400 soldiers in Bama joined residents in fleeing the Boko Haram insurgents who took control of the military barracks,” he told AFP.

People coming to the city have to pass by the University of Maiduguri, where one student, Aliyu Dawud, said he saw “many soldiers driving into Maiduguri in open vans” on Monday evening.

“Some of them had no boots, some had only vests on them while others had no guns. From their looks they were on the run for their lives,” he added.

Maiduguri, which is the Islamists’ spiritual home, has had its curfew extended from 7:00 pm to 6:00 am (1800-0500 GMT).

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