The military claimed last night that it had repelled terrorists who attacked Maiduguri, Borno State capital, in the early hours of Sunday.
An extensive cordon & search is ongoing as part of the mopping up operation to determine details of the heavy casualties suffered by the terrorists, Director Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade said in a statement. Meanwhile, United States Secretary of States John Kerry has arrived in Nigeria for talks with President Jonathan and his opposition party candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari.
The US Secretary of States met with President Jonathan in Lagos, the old capital.
Kerry’s whistle-stop visit came amid fears of a repeat of election-related violence which in 2011 left some 1,000 people dead.
Security has dominated the build-up to the February 14 presidential and parliamentary election, as Boko Haram has intensified its attacks
Olukolade said scores of the terrorists died in the course of the attack, while many of them were also captured with wounds.
A Cobra Armoured Vehicle and the heavy artillery gun, as well as some machine guns and other weapons were captured from the fleeing terrorists. 3 Gulf cars loaded with explosives were also destroyed. Also, troops in Konduga successfully repelled terrorists attack twice Sunday. Some of the troops, however, lost their lives in the series of operations to repel the terrorists.
Others who were wounded have been evacuated for appropriate medical treatment . The 24-hour curfew imposed in the course of the operation is expected to be lifted as soon as mopping operation is concluded.
Citizens will be allowed to go about their lawful activities from 6 am tomorrow, Monday, he said.
Jonathan said he told Kerry that his government would “provide all the resources that are required by the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that the election goes smoothly”.
Kerry said it was “absolutely critical” that Nigeria had free, fair and timely elections and that the world was “paying very close attention” to developments in Africa’s most populous nation.
More than 13,000 people have been killed and more than one million made homeless by Boko Haram violence since 2009.
Kerry said Washington was “prepared to do more” to help Nigeria, which has West Africa’s largest military but has been criticised for failing to protect lives and property.
The United States has been sharing intelligence with the Nigerian military and was involved in the multi-national effort to find 219 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April last year.
“Bottom line, we want to do more and that was part of the message to both President Jonathan and General Buhari today,” Kerry added.
“We are prepared to do more but our ability to do more will depend to some degree on the full measure of credibility and accountability and transparency and peacefulness of these elections.”
Meanwhile, an exclusive coordinated air campaign have taken over from ground forces in Monguno, as troops had to retreat from the location after the Brigade Commander & some of the troops were wounded while repelling terrorists attack on the town today. Calm has been restored in Maiduguri & Konduga as operation continues with patrols & surveillance.