Boko Haram has taken control of Bara, an “unguarded” town in northeastern Nigeria without firing a shot, Reuters News Agency is reporting.
Musa Abdullahi, a trader who escaped the town, said Boko Haram members stormed Bara unarmed and then went about convincing residents to join their cause. “They went preaching in the whole town, asking people to leave government work and join them to do the work of Allah,” he said. “People were afraid, but they said that they did not come to kill anybody but to preach.”
The takeover follows earlier claims by residents of Gwoza and Bama that both towns had been seized by the sect.
But both claims have since been disputed by the military, which continues to maintain that no portion of the Nigerian territory has been surrendered to the insurgents.
“The attack on Bama town was very unfortunate, but I want to reassure our people that government is on top of the situation,” Borno state deputy governor, Zanna Mustapha, said of Monday’s seizure. “Our security forces are engaging the insurgents in a fierce battle.”
The Borno state Government has maintained that Bama has not fallen into the hands of the Boko Haram sect. The Government also gave assurances that the Nigeria Military were on top of the matter. The Deputy Governor of the State made this known in an interview on Channels Television.