Residents flee as gunmen kill four cops in Borno
BY BALA AJIYA & NDAHI MARAMA
DAMATURU — At least two policemen and five suspected members of Boko Haram died after a midnight shootout between the insurgents and security forces in Gashua town of Yobe State, residents and security sources said. Gunmen robbed one of the second generation banks in the town, carting away more than N9 million.
Also, residents of Bama, 75 kilometres from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, have fled after gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members shot dead at least four policemen and set ablaze houses, yesterday, according to residents and security sources.
Gashua is about 185 kilometres from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital and also an epicenter of Boko Haram sect which had witnessed series of killings and bombings in recent times.
Briefing newsmen in Damaturu, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Sanusi Rufai, said: “Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members attacked Gashua town, Wednesday, where they killed two policemen, robbed a bank and went away with over N9 million, while five of the suspected sect members were equally killed.
Likewise, spokesman of the Joint Task Force, JTF, Lieutenant Eli Lazarus, said in a statement that most of the Boko Haram gunmen fled in the heat of the shootout, and abandoned their vehicles and cache of arms.
Fati Umar, a female school teacher and resident of Gashua, also sent a text message at about 1 a.m saying ‘please do pray for us! We are in danger’.
Fati later confirmed on phone to journalists that dozens of Boko Haram gunmen invaded their Mobile Base area of Gashua at about midnight shooting and chanting Islamic slogan ‘Allahu Akbar,’ meaning ‘God is Great.’
“From the way they were moving, it was like they were going from house to house. There were several gunshots around our house but the gate was firmly locked.
“It was this morning we heard they attacked a police station and the prison,” she said.
Lieutenant Lazarus said in his statement that the attack started at midnight.
“At about mid night, Thursday, April 25, 2013, unknown gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram terrorists attacked JTF location in Gashua town, the Police Area Command and Gashua Divisional Police Station. Men of the JTF were able to repel and contain the attack on its location.”
“Reinforcement was, however, dispatched swiftly and was able to engage the terrorists.Two police officers were killed in the attack while five of the suspected terrorists lost their lives. Some of the suspected terrorists escaped in two vehicles with injuries while others are believed to still be at large.”
“The fleeing terrorists took away one police Hilux vehicle fitted with siren, one other vehicle, police uniforms and other items from the Police stations.
“Items recovered include; One Toyota Corolla Car, One Peugeot 406 Saloon Car, One Isuzu Pick Up Van, One AK 47 Rifle, One Police Anti-Riot Gun, One Locally Made Pistol, One Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) Bomb, One Generating Set and Large Quantity of Ammunition.
The JTF Spokesman however said; “General public are therefore enjoined to be mindful of the fact that the terrorists are still around and are bent on wrecking havoc and instilling fear in law abiding citizens in order to make life unbearable for them. Let no one be in doubt however, that JTF would continue to respond appropriately to such attacks”. Lazarus added.
The Task Force urges all law abiding citizens to remain calm as it is currently on top of the situation. A cordon and search operation is currently on going in Gashua town.
Residents flee as gunmen kill four cops in Borno
Maiduguri — Residents of Bama, 75 kilometres from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, have fled after gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members shot dead at least four policemen and set ablaze houses, yesterday, according to residents and security sources.
The gunmen attempted to kill the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, there, who managed to escape with bullet injuries.
Police sources and residents of Bama said several houses around the Police Divisional Headquarters were torched in the ensuing shootout between the gunmen and security forces.
Hundreds of residents of Kasubula area of Bama have so far fled their homes and currently taking refuge in the surrounding bushes.
A civil servant in Maiduguri whose family lived in Bama said he received distress call from his wife that their house had been torched.
He said: “My wife just called to tell me that they were assisted to escape by jumping the fence when my house was set on fire, and presently she and my two daughters are with others in the bush.”
A top security source who pleaded anonymity confirmed the killing of the cops, but declined comments on possible civilian casualties.
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