Friday, August 17, 2012

Boko Haram plans attacks during Sallah period – JTF

Three suspected terrorists and a civilian were killed, yesterday, while three others were injured in separate encounters with members of the Joint Task Force in Maiduguri.

This came as a severe gun duel between security forces and suspected members of the Boko Haram that lasted about two hours rocked Damaturu, Yobe State capital yesterday, paralysing economic activities in the state.

In one of the encounters, a suicide bomber carrying an Improvised Explosive Device, on a tricycle attempted to run into a patrol vehicle of the JTF but missed and in the process rammed into a moving Mercedes Benz car which exploded. The suicide bomber died immediately after the explosion while a soldier was injured.

The incident which took place at about 10am in Customs Area of Maiduguri Metropolis caused pandemonium forcing residents to scamper for safety.

Confirming the incident in a statement the JTF spokesman, Lt Col Sagir Musa said: “At about 10:00hours, a suicide bomber in a tricycle (Keke NAPEP) who targeted one of our patrol vehicles around Customs area failed and hit a moving Mercedes Benz. The bomber died instantly, one civilian died, while two others and a soldier were injured as a result of the explosion”.

The corpse of the bomber and the three injured persons were taken to University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

The JTF spokesman also said that, two suspected members of Boko Haram who stormed Monday Market, yesterday, with the intention of killing innocent citizens were gunned down by the task force team.

According to him, two AK 47 rifles and 18 rounds of ammunition were recovered after the encounter which happened at about 11:00 am

Meanwhile, the task force has alerted residents of the state of plans by Boko Haram to launch attacks during the Sallah period.

Intelligence information available to the JTF Operation RESTORE ORDER in Maiduguri indicated that there is going to be a planned attacks on military personnel and civilians by terrorists during the Sallah period.

A statement signed by the JTF Sagir Musa said following intelligence information gathered by the team, people are advised to report any suspicious persons or movements to the Task Force, noting that security arrangement has already been made to ensure the desired peace and security during and after the period.

Also in Damaturu, a severe gun duel that lasted almost two hours rocked the Yobe State capital, yesterday, paralysing economic activities. The Police Public Relations officer, Mr. Toyin Gbadegesin, who confirmed the incidence said the gun duel resulted from an attack on security forces by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect.

He revealed that security forces had gone to carry the corpse of a civil defence officer believed to have been killed by the insurgents at Gwange Area of the metropolis and on their way back, they were attacked by other suspected sect members.

The security forces according to him repelled the attack. He said there were no casualties on the side of the security forces pointing out that security operation were still on going in the area because the attackers were believed to have gone into hiding.

After the attack, normal activities in the state capital came to a standstill as shops among other business activities remained closed.

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