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CJTF Commander, 14 soldiers killed in ambush in Borno

Residents of Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State in the northeast Nigeria has confirmed the killing of the operational commander of Youth Volunteer popularly called Civilian Joint Task Force, Mala Mintar alongside 14 soldiers in an ambush along the Maiduguri – Damboa road while escorting travellers on Saturday afternoon.

The 87km Maiduguri-Damboa road was opened for travellers last year by the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, however, the residents said ambush by terrorists operating from Ajigil, Talala and Alqgarno has continued unabated on the road since it was opened for public.

The residents said, the road is still a death trap even with the military escort, as such urged the authorities to do The needful on the know villages which has been turned into operational bases of the Boko Haram fighters along the road.

Umar Ajari, a member of the CJTF in Damboa, who also fought alongside late Mala Mintar said on Sunday evening that, the death of Mala has brought sadness to many of them who have been fighting alongside with him.

He said, ” When we were overwhelmed during the ambush and displaced, we thought he had escaped also only to find out later that he was among those killed in the fight that ensued. We lost many of our colleagues and fourteen soldiers in the ambush but we also killed many of the fighting men on the other side.”

According to him, Maiduguri – Damboa road has been attacked more than 10 times this year and a lot has not been reported.

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“Even last week there was an attack along this road. So long as Talala, Agijil and Alagarno is still a strong hold of the insurgents along this road, this attacks will continue,” he added.

Another resident and NGO worker in Damboa told REPUBLICAN that his organisation does not allow travelling by road from Maiduguri-Damboa because of the incidences on the road.

“We have been receiving security briefing on daily basis as regards happening along this road and it has been teriffic,” he said.

He also confirmed that, reports they received had it that 14 Nigerian soldiers were killed along the road on Saturday, who were escorting travellers.

“Everybody here in Damboa knows what has happened. It is not a hiding truth. There was an ambush and 14 Soldiers and many others were killed during the attack yesterday. We pray for their souls to rest in peace,” he said.

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