No fewer than 70 persons including some leaders of Boko Haram were killed in both Borno and Plateau States during separate skirmishes in the last three days in the country.
Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram, also had last night reportedly killed a soldier and abducted three others during an attack on the military in Potiskum, Yobe state, a military source revealed.
Sources confirmed the incident to newsmen in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, saying that the corpse of the deceased soldier had been brought from Potiskum and deposited at a hospital morgue in Damaturu town.
’’The attack was a bad one because a soldier was killed and the terrorists kidnapped three other soldiers to an unknown destination”, he said.
’’Some of our search teams are combing within and outside the neighbour hoods of Potiskum for the missing soldiers. A helicopter gun ship had been deployed from Maiduguri to join in the search teams yesterday morning.’’
About 48 people were killed in violence in Langtang South Local Government Area of Plateau since crises started Thursday, while 22 other persons including some leaders of Boko Haram were killed in Borno during a gun duel between security agents and the Boko Haram insurgents.
Special Task Force, STF, Spokesman in Jos Plateau State, Captain Salisu Mustapha, told newsmen in Jos, the capital yesterday that some invading Fulani herdsmen killed 28 persons in Magama, Bongong and Karkashi communities, while the STF killed 20 of them “in a gun duel that lasted several hours.”
Also, in Borno, the sources close to the Military Joint Task Force, JTF, told Saturday Vanguard that ”No fewer than 22 people suspected to be members of terrorists group have been killed in Mainok Village, Beneshiek Local Government Area of Borno state in an exchange of gun fire which ensued between the terrorists and men of the JTF. Also killed were two security personnel suspected to be policemen.”
However, the STF’s Mustapha said that many other assailants sustained gunshot wounds and were arrested by the STF, without giving the specific number of those said to have been arrested.
“Some motorcycles, weapons and ammunition were also recovered,” he added.
He further said that the attackers were suspected to be Fulani herdsmen and that they withdrew toward Yamini, Yelwa-Shendam and Agikamai villages in Shendam Local Government Area after the attack.
He, however, said the situation had been brought under control as more troops had been deployed to secure the area.
Mustapha said “STF personnel are conducting a robust patrol to guard against further attacks on innocent persons.”
He advised the people to go about their normal businesses and warned that security men would deal with anyone caught making trouble in the area.
“Individuals or groups of persons that have made themselves the enemies of the people will be treated as such because we shall fish them out and deal with them,” he warned.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Langtang South Local Government, Mr Naanman Darko, said that more than 6,000 displaced persons were taking refuge at the local government headquarters in Mabudi.
“In fact, more people are still trooping into the secretariat following rumours that more attacks are underway,” he said.
Darko said nine injured persons were being treated at Langtang South General Hospital.
“The local government has been making arrangements to provide relief materials to the displaced persons.
“We have also reached out to the State Emergency Management Agency and had been assured that assistance is already underway,” he added.
In Borno, among those arrested were alleged four high profile Boko Haram members including one suspected to be very close to leader of the sect, Sheikh Abubakar Shekau. They were reportedly arrested yesterday by Vigilante Youths popularly known as ‘Civilian JTF’ in Maiduguri, the state capital.
Saturday Vanguard gathered from reliable sources that the terrorists invaded Mainok village Wednesday in an attempt to launch attacks on one of the security posts in the area but were repelled by the superior fire power of the JTF.”
The source said, the terrorists laid an ambush, in readiness for the attack before the exchange of gun shots began at about 6pm in the evening. It was learnt that, during the encounter, several members of the terrorist sect were killed, while two people suspected to be security operatives also lost their lives.
The source said that the arrest of the high profile members of the sect were carried out in different locations in Maiduguri metropolis even as three of them were arrested at Galtimari ward close to Giwa Barracks by the youths who later handed them over to the JTF unit along 21 Armoured Brigade road. Two other suspects were said to have been apprehended at Kawar-Maila in Shehuri ward, one of the strongholds of Boko Haram sect which had witnessed series of killings, bombing and destruction of houses in recent past.
The ‘Civilian JTF’ which had been assisting the Military Joint Task Force, JTF, to rid the state of terrorists, came to NNPC filling station along the Lagos Street after they had arrested one of the suspects who, they claimed to be very close to the sect leader, Shekau and bundled him into one of their vehicles..
Speaking to newsmen on the issue at the filling station, one of the ‘Civilian JTF’ members who spoke on the condition of anonymity later said that the suspect was taken to the car wash near the Sanda Kyarimi zoo in the metropolis to show them some of his lieutenants who were hiding with their guns in the area.