Multiple sources reported an ongoing Boko Haram attack in the BORNO state capital Maiduguri on the evening of May 11, 2021 at about 18:00. 

The reports for population vigilance and alert were preceded by sounds of gunshots and explosions around a location given as ´Polo areà’ in Maiduguri metropolis.

It was subsequently confirmed that a unit of Organized Armed Group (OAG) linked to the ISIS jihadist sect Boko Haram - most likely operatives from the ISWAP faction aboard several vehicles and motorcycles launched an attack on a Government security Force (GF) position in the vicinity of Molai - Maiduguri.

The armed operatives fired several projectiles and subsequently engage GF, prompting GF to tactically vacate their base to prevent own and civilian casualty during gun fire exchange.

The armed operatives then proceeded towards another location given as ´southern polo ´clashing fiercely with security forces in the outskirts.

The clashes which spread towards the location of Ali Dawari lasted for about an hour ( 19:15). A rapid deployment of reinforcements from the Nigerian Army (NA), Nigerian Police Force (NPF) and Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) operatives was dispatched to deal with the threat.

Sources confirmed that government forces reportedly neutralised at least eight armed terrorist, recovered one stolen vehicle, four motorcycles and several weapons. There are no known reports of own troop casualties.

On the same May 11 at about 18:20 - a simultaneous attack was launched targeting another military base in a location given as ´Cashew Plantation’ towards Balle axis. Details of that attack is still unclear but early reports indicate security forces responded swiftly and repelled the jihadist attack.

These multiple attacks on military hard targets in Maiduguri Metropolis on May 11 occurred less than 5 days after Boko Haram #ISWAP plans to launch attacks in various locations around the BORNO state capital of Maiduguri to disrupt activities in preparation for the end of Ramadan was revealed.

The Boko Haram ISWAP insurgency is over 2 decades old and continues to pose a significant threat to lives and property throughout the nation and Lake Chad basin stater - but especially within locations in the North East and North West/Central of Nigeria.

The most effective Counter insurgency operations against the often spontaneous violent activities of non state actors can only be sustained by a people-centric approach. Where TRUST in cohesion with state forces is earned against FEAR of reprisal attacks from non-state actors.

The protection of all civilians and soft civilian targets and responding on all verified provided information are prerequisites for confidence building between the people and state actors.

No amount of kinetic force can completely eradicate an insurgency movement when the people in the communities involved - refuse or are fearful of sharing timely information on the activities of non-state actors. Insecurity will never defeat insecurity.

If you see something - if you hear something - if you smell something - if you know something , SAY SOMETHING!!!

David Otto

David Otto is the Director for Stepped In – Step Out UK Ltd and a Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Expert. He is a Certified Anti -Terrorism Specialist (CAS), a Certified Master Anti -Terrorism Specialist (CMAS) and a programme trainer with the Anti -Terrorism Accreditation Board (ATAB). Twitter @ottotgs Email:


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