Militants of notorious Islamic group Boko Haram on Wednesday engaged troops of the Nigerian Army in a gun duel, after attempting to capture Jiddari Polo community in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.
However, the troops scored a major battle victory as it successfully repelled the attempted siege in a battle that lasted for about two hours – between 5 and 7 pm.
This led to apprehension as some residents on the outskirts were cut off from other parts of the town.
Thousands of civilians fled the fighting, according to some other witnesses.
Some other residents of the area who had planned to flee their homes were reassured with rapid response of Nigerian troops.
Speaking on the elimination of armed terrorists, the Army Spokesperson, Brigadier Sani Kukasheka Usman said: “there was an attempt by a few suspected Boko Haram to attack Jiddari Polo and all have been neutralized. Situation cool and calm.”
“The situation in Maiduguri is under control. The public is requested not to panic but to stay calm.
“The press is pleased requested to disseminate this information to the public.”
On Thursday morning, it is understood that there was heavy security presence around the area as the Nigerian Army attempts to calm the situation.
Fighter jets roared overhead as soldiers and police sped toward the scene. Three children were hit by bullets, one witness said.
Many residents of the town were made to stay indoors as bullets flew on the streets of Jiddari Polo, an area at the outskirts of the troubled town, the birthplace of Boko Haram.
Wednesday attack is the first in recent time that Maiduguri would be coming under siege of the Boko Haram terrorists though there have been incidence of suicide attacks in the last couple of months.