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Residents flee as Boko Haram lays seige on Geidam

Thousands of residents have fled to nearby Yunusari Local Government and Damataru as fighters of the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), a Boko Haram faction, besiege Geidam town in Yobe State.

Over 2,000 residents including children and aged trekked long distances to safety after Boko Haram consolidated their control of the town.

The insurgents, who have taken position within residential parts of the town, have being engaging the military in the town in a heavy gun battle for more than 48 hours.

Residents told Daily Trust that the insurgents were boasting to the locals that they will dislodge a military base located in the town. Troops have, however, put a strong residence even as they were being restrained by fear of recording too many collateral damages.

Chairman of the local government, Ali Kolo Geidam, stated that thousands of his people have fled the town and its environs.

“I don’t know who is presently in control because I couldn’t access the town for the past two days, but based on the information I received the insurgents overran the military.

“I visited some of the injured victims here in Damaturu Specialist Hospital and I sympathised with their condition,” he said.

He said the insurgents have slaughtered two people on Sunday morning including a teacher in Kawuri Primary School, Mallam Baba Tazira in addition to those that were injured with many others displaced.

The chairman refused military claim that they inflicted heavy casualties on the terrorists adding that they should have liaised with locals to get adequate information.

Another survivor who escaped to a neighboring village on Sunday, Rawana Usman, said he had no intention of leaving his house but later changed his mind when he learnt that the assailant slaughtered two Christians working with an NGO from his neighbourhood.

“They were going round houses targeting Christians, NGO workers and those that are educated in the western schools. When I heard of the selective killings, I couldn’t resist, I left abruptly.

“I can say that there were soldiers engaging them. They have been doing their best to push out the terrorists, but I can tell you that these boys were moving normal in the town up to the time I left,” he said.

Another source, Abba Nura revealed that about 11 people of the same family were killed as a result of an explosive device that struck their homes at Saminaka Area, close to the military camp in Geidam during the encounter.

Our correspondent gathered that Boko Haram insurgents and the military exchanged firepower on Friday in Geidam.

After airstrikes by the military, the insurgents beat retreat but they returned hours later and have been wreaking havoc on the town since then.

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