On Monday, November 19, 2018, members of terrorist sect Boko Haram, stormed a military base in Metele village, Guzamala local government area of Borno State and made for every soldier on the premises.
“The attack came at about 6 pm on Monday evening”, one soldier who managed to escape the onslaught from the terrorists, told Premium Times. “When the soldier on top of the observation post alerted that a large number of Boko Haram fighters were advancing, we all got alarmed as we took cover and waited within the base in Metele”.
The soldier said the terrorists levelled the military base in minutes.
“The fight did not last for more than 45 minutes, but it was bloody because the Boko Haram fighters had more armament advantage than the soldiers.
“When we realised the fight would be against us, we decided to retreat from the camp, but it was rather too late. The camp was surrounded with barbed wire, and the enemy fire was coming from the direction of the entrance. We were like surrounded.
playNigerian soldiers on duty in the Northeast (AFP/File)
“One of the drivers of the gun trucks decided to push through the barbed wire so that other vehicles could follow and escape, but the truck got stuck, that was how many of our soldiers in other vehicles and those on foot were massacred.
“Those that managed to escape with injuries made it on foot through Cross-Kauwa to Monguno where they boarded commercial vehicles, some even sat in the booth of the Golf cars to get to Maiduguri.
“Boko Haram made away with about seven gun trucks of the Nigeria army”.
“The insurgents took us unawares”
Another unnamed soldier told Reuters that “the insurgents took us unawares. The base was burned with arms and we lost about 100 soldiers. It is a huge loss.”
Other sources told Reuters that many troops are still missing. One soldier disclosed that more troops were killed on Tuesday when an attempt to recover bodies from the initial attack was ambushed.
“We all flew because we didn’t know where the bullets were coming from,” Reuters quotes the soldier as saying. “They killed some of us who went to evacuate the bodies of the killed soldiers.
“We left our amour, tanks and weapons. They were all there. The village is still under their control.”
How Boko Haram captured the military base
AFP’s account of events is just as chilling.
“Our troops were completely routed and the terrorists captured the base after heavy fighting,” one senior army officer told AFP, adding that the base commander and three officers were among the dead.
A local vigilante told AFP that the Boko Haram terrorists arrived the army base on around 20 trucks and army air support did not arrive until after they had “invaded the base and looted the weapons”.