Nigeria says repelled Boko Haram attack on Gombe town
'The terrorists' attack on Gombe has been repelled,' the Defense Headquarters said on Twitter.
The Nigerian army on Saturday confirmed repelling an attack by the militant Boko Haram group on the northeastern Gombe town, the capital city of the eponymous Gombe state.
"The terrorists' attack on Gombe has been repelled," the Defense Headquarters said on Twitter.
"The troops are in pursuit of the [attackers]," it added, pledging to reveal further details about the attack later.
The confirmation came hours after the attack took place in the early hours of the day as residents stayed indoors to avoid being caught in the crossfire.
The town woke up to gunshots and explosions as Boko Haram militants attacked Dadinkowa, a town some 30km away from Gombe town, and later proceeded to terrorize the latter before being repelled by the army.
Residents and military sources said casualties were feared in the attacks and told The Anadolu Agency that the army deployed fighter jets to bombard the site of the insurgents.
Some of the areas targeted in Gombe included the 301 artillery regiment army barracks and a government housing estate.
"Quarter guard of the 201 Artillery Regiment of the Nigerian army was completely razed while several police posts were also attacked," Saidu Umar, a resident of Gombe town, told AA.
"We saw smoke coming from Hinna area," he said. "They killed many people and also destroyed government facilities, including an ambulance vehicle belonging to Hinna Cottage Hospital," he added.
As the militants launched the attacks, they distributed fliers in Gombe State, threatening to attack polling stations during the next general elections.
"Don't go to polling centers on election day, If you want to live long," Boko Haram wrote in the fliers.
"We will attack all polling centers," it threatened.
The fliers were written in the local Hausa language and had the Boko Haram insignia on them.
In its three-paragraph fliers, Boko Haram asked local residents not to join security forces in fighting it.
"If you want peace to reign, don't join security in fighting us, because we don't attack people unless they attack us," it said.
It even called on these local residents to join it in what it called its "Jihad" (or holy war) and the practice of Islam.
Nigeria is expected to hold its general elections on March 28 and April 11.
The new fliers, some observers say, were an attempt by the militant group to scare people away from the elections.
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan said in previous statements to the media that the Nigerian army would liberate much of the towns under Boko Haram before the elections.
Last Modified: 2015-02-16 09:10:15
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