An unknown number of soldiers were said to have been killed on Thursday night by Boko Haram terrorists fuming an Army checkpoint around Zuma Rock, the border between FCT and Niger State.
Sources said the terrorists arrived at Zuma Rock on the axis of Madalla and Suleija along the Abuja-Kaduna highway, at about 8.30 p.m., and took the soldiers by surprise, opening fire from different angles.
“They were shooting continuously at the checkpoint for almost one hour, and soldiers at the checkpoint were fighting back. But after a while, the shooting stopped,” a source said.
The sources said the terrorists later abandoned their mission of moving into Abuja and retreated toward the Kaduna axis.
While retreating, the bandits who were said to be on several motorbikes, reportedly attacked some villages and shops in Madalla and carried foodstuff on their motorbikes before bolting.
Following the retreat of the terrorists, more troops and equipment from the Army base in Zuma Barracks were deployed for reinforcement to the scene.
Another source said a joint security operatives team was going on patrol around the axis when sounds of gunshot erupted and they moved towards the scene only to discover that it was an ongoing battle between soldiers and bandits.
The source said the security operatives immediately radioed the Army Barracks at Zuma Rock, resulting in the deployment of reinforcement to the scene.
The fighting reportedly caused a severe traffic jam, as motorists remained trapped on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway.
The attack comes barely six days after terrorists carried out ambushed a patrol team of presidential guards team along the Bwari-Kubwa Road resulting in the death of six soldiers and officers following an intelligence report that they were planning to attack the Nigerian Law School in Bwari.
The attack and other kidnapping incidents have resulted in heightened tension in the FCT, with schools closed.
The management of Federal Government College, Kwali, asked parents to evacuate their children from the school as a result of an attack by bandits in a neighboring community 24 hours earlier.
Recall that the terrorists began the attacks by invading Kuje Prison in Abuja with bombs on July 5, killing an NSCDC officer, blowing open the gates, and freeing over 800 inmates including 66 Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorist commanders and members.
The terrorists had also threatened to abduct President Muhammadu Buhari and the governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.