Nigerian troops in Maiduguri today opened fire on the convoy of Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State as the governor approached a military garrison near the airport to visit wounded soldiers.
Security sources told SaharaReporters that the governor’s protocol unit was to blame for the problem, as they had failed to notify the military authorities about Mr. Shettima’s intention to visit the military facility.
An aide to the governor told SaharaReporters that Mr. Shettima, who was unharmed in the encounter, returned to his office unruffled.
Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, has been under a curfew since yesterday after the city came under a fierce but unsuccessful attack from Islamist Boko Haram fighters.
Meanwhile, a security source told SaharaReporters that military intelligence had been aware of an impending attack by the Islamist insurgents. He said the military was aware, as far back as last week, that suspected Boko Haram fighters had been massing around New Matse and Jeere areas of Maiduguri in preparation for attacks on Maiduguri and Monguno, a town 85 miles from the Borno State capital. The source wondered why the military did not act preemptively to disperse the fighters before they launched simultaneous attacks against Maiduguri and Monguno. While Nigerian troops were able to repel the insurgents’ operation in Maiduguri, Boko Haram fighters seized the Monguno barracks.
Many soldiers lost their lives and many more were wounded in yesterday’s operations, but the troops killed more than 100 Islamist insurgents who tried to capture the state capital.