Almost 200 suspected members of the Boko Haram were killed today by residents of Rann, the headquarters of Kala-Balge local government area in north eastern part of Borno State, officials and locals from the area said.
Sources said the insurgents, numbering over 300 stormed Rann and adjoining villages around 4am today but met resistance from the people who had knowledge of the impending attack.
This is the second attempt by Boko Haram insurgents on Rann. A similar one was waged by the attackers some month ago but retreated when they reportedly found it difficult to penetrate the town.
It was however gathered that this time around, the insurgents had succeeded in entering Rann where they killed some people and burnt some houses but reportedly recorded the worst casualty.
"The people in Rann and environs used traditional fighting equipment and charms to repel the attacks...they really confronted the attackers who were equally ready for fight," a source said.
A state legislator from Central Borno, who does not want his name mentioned, confirmed the attack, pointing out that the locals had successfully repelled.
“The villagers succeeded in protecting their dwellings from the attackers. They killed about 200 members of the sect and many others escaped with serious wounds.
“Our people also recovered over 70 motorcycles that the attackers came with. They also collected 2 Hilux vehicles and an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) while some of the attackers were captured alive,” he said.
At the Gamboru Motor Park along the Customs area in Maiduguri, some people that came from the area said the insurgents were defeated in Rann during confrontations that lasted many hours.
Borno State police commissioner, Lawan Tanko said he was not aware of the attack.
“The only information I heard today is that the insurgents have been sighted around Hamchika-Kala Balge road. We have informed sister agencies of the development,” he said.
It is not yet clear whether the insurgents are heading towards Kala-Balge for a renewed attack. GSM services in the area have been vandalized by insurgents over two years ago and locals in the area rely on Cameroonian telephone facilities to reach out.
Kala-Balge lies along the Shores of the Lake Chad and is few kilometers away from Gamboru town where suspected insurgents killed nearly 400 people last week and destroyed over 300 vehicles, 650 motorcycles, dozens of residential houses, public buildings and the biggest market in the town that shares border with Cameroon.
It was learnt that people of Kala-Balge have used various methods, including prayers in protecting their town.