Many people have been feared dead in the ancient town of Rann in Borno State after militants from the Islamic State-backed faction of Boko Haram, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), formerly known as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād, dislodged Nigerian troops in the community.
Rann is the headquarters of Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno state and has experienced several attacks from the insurgents.
Military sources told World Africa that the insurgents overran Rann on Sunday night and while most of the villagers ran away for safety, some were held by the insurgents.
SaharaReporters gathered that the gunmen came with heavy machine guns and trucks and dislodged Nigerian troops of Operation Hadin Kai stationed in the community.
“They stormed the town around 10 pm last night and was in charge till 6 am this morning; many people including military operatives were killed by the terrorists, we can’t ascertain the number of casualties now,” a source said.
The latest attack comes a few hours after Borno State leaders agreed to the return of ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists into their communities.
The decision was taken at a stakeholders meeting on Sunday to discuss the prevailing security situation in the state. The meeting was organised by the government of Borno State.
The Borno government confirmed that at least 3,000 persons who were members of the armed opposition group have laid down their arms and surrendered to the Nigerian military.
Governor Babagana Zulum, who presided over the meeting, disclosed that apart from the 3,000 ‘ex-terrorists’ currently in the custody of the government, another 900 confirmed members of Boko Haram have surrendered to the Cameroonian forces.
Zulum said the stakeholders’ meeting became necessary following the mixed reactions that recently trailed the mass surrender of ‘former’ Boko Haram fighters.
The governor said the government needed to involve all stakeholders in Borno in the decision-making process on how to deal with the ‘repentant’ insurgents.
Various stakeholders at the meeting which lasted five hours presented their views on how the ‘former’ terrorists should be accepted and treated in society.