AFRICANGLOBE – Scores of Boko Haram insurgents were killed in fierce clashes with Nigerian forces after they had attacked workers at an electricity facility in the volatile northeastern Borno State, a power company official said Friday.
The official, who asked not to be named, said that military forces had engaged Boko Haram gunmen in a shootout in Bulabulin village, where workers and engineers from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria had been repairing broken power facilities.
“Boko Haram militants shot at us while we were working on the electricity facility at Bulabulin,” the power company official told reporters.
“But the soldiers who were with us to provide security immediately engaged them to repel the attack,” he said.
Abubakar Zarami, a young volunteer with a local vigilante group, said the incident had occurred on Wednesday as electricity engineers put the finishing touches on a repaired power facility at Bulabulin.
“Soldiers pursued and engaged them even though the insurgents were returning fire. It was a fierce battle, but the soldiers succeeded in killing many of them – more than 50,” Zarami said.
A security source said the number of insurgents killed was “yet to be ascertained,” while lauding army troops for their gallant performance against the savages.
The troops, he said, had detected the insurgents as they entered the area in a convoy of four 4-wheel vehicles.
In mid-May, Boko Haram terrorists attacked a number of communities around the Bulabulin area and destroyed electricity facilities in the area, temporarily cutting the power supply to Maiduguri, Borno State’s provincial capital.
Borno State’s power minister, Alhaji Mohammed Wakil, apologized to Maiduguri residents for delays in fixing the destroyed power facility, attributing the delays to mounting insecurity and frequent militant attacks.
He had vowed to repair the facility before year’s end – a promise that took the electricity workers to the site of Wednesday’s attack.