Boko Haram militants have attacked a town in northeast Nigeria, killing three, and robbing and burning a bank, residents said on Tuesday, in the latest violence in the restive region.
Militant fighters arriving aboard vehicles and motorcycles stormed Michika in Adamawa state near the border with neighbouring Borno at about 6:30 pm (1730 GMT) on Monday, firing guns and forcing some residents to flee the town.
Others were said to have locked themselves in their homes.
“They attacked a commercial bus driving through the town and killed three people inside. They overpowered soldiers in the town and forced them to withdraw,” resident Saleh Abbare told AFP.
He said the insurgents also broke into a commercial bank, carted away money and set the building on fire.
“The bank was recently renovated and banking activities resumed since 2014 after it was destroyed by the same Boko Haram when they took over the town,” he said.
Another resident, Daniel Bature, said the militants were pushed out after the arrival of troops from Gulak, the headquarters of nearby Madagali district.
“The terrorists were pushed out and they drove towards Lassa on their way back to the Sambisa Forest (in Borno),” said Bature, who gave a similar account.
“Soldiers pursued them while vigilantes in Lassa laid in wait for them. They suffered a lot of casualties from the two fronts,” he said.
The Nigerian Army confirmed the attack and said the militants “met their Waterloo and suffered heavy casualties”. But it made no mention of civilian deaths.
Spokesman Sagir Musa said the insurgents “were completely routed by the troops, neutralising many of them, while others fled in disarray due to superior firepower”.
Boko Haram’s decade-long insurgency has killed some 27,000 people and forced almost two million others to flee their homes, sparking a dire humanitarian crisis in the region.