Army Confirms Boko Haram Attack On Rann
The Nigerian Army has confirmed the recent attack on Rann, a town in Borno State in North-east Nigeria.
A senior Army officer confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Friday, although he did not state if there were casualties.
Rann is the headquarters of Kalabalge Local Government Area of Borno, about 171 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the state capital.
Earlier, Amnesty International said at least 60 people were killed when Boko Haram insurgents attacked Rann on Monday.
Trouble started when the partner countries of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) unceremoniously withdrew from their position in the town, although no reason was given for their action.
The movement of the soldiers with their equipment caused panic among the civilians, mostly who were Internally Displaced People (IDP), leading to a mass exit to neighbouring Cameroon Republic.
There were rumours of an impending attack by the insurgents who had reportedly sent word about their coming.
Speaking about the incident, the Army officer told Channels Television that the attack did occur, but the troops have since restored calm in the area.
According to him, the troops repelled the attack with the support of soldiers attached to the MNJTF Cameroon Defence Force.
The Army officer said as things were being stabilised, the MNJTF withdrew while Nigerians troops were holding on firmly on the ground and civilians who left were already returning.
Reacting to the attack, Amnesty International said it analysed satellite imagery which showed hundreds of burned structures in the town.
According to it, many of the destroyed structures only date back to 2017, suggesting they were shelters for IDPs who came to Rann seeking protection.
“We have now confirmed that this week’s attack on Rann was the deadliest yet by Boko Haram, killing at least 60 people,” Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, was quoted as saying in a statement on Friday.
“Using satellite imagery, we have also been able to confirm the mass burning of structures as Boko Haram unleashed a massive assault on Rann, most of which is now destroyed.”
The organisation, therefore, called on the Federal Government to investigate the withdrawal of security forces of the MNJTF from Rann, a development it said may have left tens of thousands of civilians exposed to the attack.