An estimated 200 suspected members of Boko Haram were reportedly killed Wednesday and 10 captured in a successful counteroffensive by a local Nigerian militia in Rann, located in Kabalage Village. It is an area located in the northeast part of Borno state, which is positioned near the borders of both Chad and Cameroon.
According to a local state legislator, “The villagers succeeded in protecting their dwellings from the attackers. They killed about 200 members of the sect and many others escaped with serious wounds.” He continued, “Our people also recovered over 70 motorcycles that the attackers came with. They also collected 2 Hilux vehicles and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) while some of the attackers were captured alive.”
Sources on the ground said 300 members of Islamist radical group Boko Haram stormed the local village around 4:00 a.m. local time. It is believed the successful counter-atttack was due to local knowledge of the impending attack, allowing Rann’s citizens to prepare to defend themselves.
A member of the militia spoke with reporters on the phone. He said, “They wanted to attack us just the way they did in Bama, Konduga and Damboa, but we got the wind of it and all of us laid ambush for them; when they neared the village, we opened fire using our Dane duns, double barrel rifles and bows-and-arrows, most of them who were shocked took to their heels, but many of them died, some that were injured have been caught alive and are with the security people as I am talking to you.”
This is the second time in a month that Boko Haram has tried to strike Rann. They were also successfully turned back the first time around.
A local source described the secret to Rann’s villagers success. “The people in Rann and environs used traditional fighting equipment and charms to repel the attacks… they really confronted the attackers who were equally ready for fight,” he said.
Rann is within close proximity to Gamboru, an area attacked by Boko Haram last week. The Cameroon border town of Gamboru sustained huge losses. They lost 400 lives, including almost 1,000 vehicles destroyed, and dozens of homes burned to the ground.
On Tuesday, the Nigerian government said it was ready to negotiate with the group over the more than 200 girls still held captive by Boko Haram.
The militant Islamist group Boko Haram has killed thousands of people in Nigeria over the past few years.
The Nigerian government has yet to officially confirm the latest attack.