Monday, December 1, 2014 12:15 pm
Suspected Boko Haram Islamist militants attacked northeastern Nigeria’s Yobe state capital Damaturu on Monday and a Nigerian air force jet flew over the city, residents said.
The jet occasionally dropped bombs on the insurgent positions as it also provided aerial cover for Nigerian troops on the ground.
At 8:50, reports said the shootings were subsiding.
The insurgents stormed the city at dawn arriving from the town of Buni Yadi, which has been a local stronghold for months.
“The insurgents stormed the town at about 5.30 a.m. this morning from Gujba road, south east of the state capital and went straight to launch an attack on a mobile police base,” the witness said.
Resident Mustapha Usman said he heard gunfire and explosions from about 6 a.m. (0500 GMT) and that was still going on.
“I saw a military jet circling three times. People have abandoned their vehicles on the road and gone home,” Usman said by phone from Damaturu.
Authorities were not immediately available to comment.
Another witness, Mike David, said the militants were shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) and shooting at random.
Resident of an estate along Gujba road confirmed that the attackers have raided the area shooting and detonating explosives.
“We can see thick smokes going up and hearing intermittent shootings,” a resident said.
Students of the Yobe state University told the Daily Trust that they managed to escape to the bush from their hostels but they could not confirm if the schools was torched.
Many residents of the town close to the area of attacks have started fleeing in droves through the Gashua road, Daily Trust correspondent reports.
A fighter jet from the Nigerian Air force is said to have arrived to provide aerial cover for the troops battling the insurgents.
Gujba and Gulani Local Government areas have been under Boko haram control since July this year.