The Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State said it has killed two suspects and arrested 26 others who were responsible for the killing of two Indians at a Gum Arabic Factory in Maiduguri on Wednesday. JTF spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa said in a statement in Maiduguri yesterday that the suspects were responsible for the slaughtering of Shanker Saha, 35, and Bokul Chander Mondal also 35 as well as serial killings in Maiduguri and environs in the last few days.
Another Indian, Biesh Yadav, 43, is recuperating at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) following cuts in his neck during the attack.
According to the JTF spokesman, “following intelligence report available to the Joint Task Force Operation Restore Order, special operation was conducted on Thursday 26 and early hours of Friday 27 July, 2012.
“The operation led to the arrest of 26 terrorists and the killings of two suspected members of Boko Haram terrorists at Biafra Bula-bulin, Kasuwan Shanu and GRA in Maiduguri metropolis. Some of the suspects killed and arrested were responsible for the killings of the two Indians, a cleric and several other killings in Maiduguri in the past.
He said during the raid, some weapons were recovered from the suspects. They include 2 AK 47 rifles, 3 AK 47 Magazine, 200 rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunition, a primed Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which was detonated by the Bomb Disposal Unit of the JTF.
Others, according to him include, cutlasses, daggers and charms, blood stained cloth used during the killing of a cleric in Kasuwan Shanu, Maiduguri.
“The items and suspects are in custody of the JTF for necessary action,” he said.
In a related development, a detachment of mobile and regular policemen have raided the Bolori Market in Maiduguri on Thursday and arrested dozens of people, including traders, labourers and artisans.
Though no official communication from the police on why the market was raided, Saminu Aliyu, a senior official of the traders lamented that “many” members had been arrested during the raid.
“The whole market was cordoned off around 4pm. Heavily armed policemen took strategic positions which made it impossible for all of us in the market to move an inch. Nobody told us why the market was raided, but I want to use this opportunity to plead with relevant authorities to release our members,” Aliyu said.
Meanwhile, a soldier died and some others were injured yesterday when gunmen, suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect, threw an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at a moving patrol vehicle of the Joint Task Force (JTF) at Shehuri ward.
The attack took place not far from the Shehu of Borno’s palace in Maiduguri metropolis.
Weekly Trust reports that there was a heavy sound of explosion, followed by sporadic gunshots shortly before the Friday prayers yesterday.
The incident prevented many worshippers, mostly those living around Shehuri and neighbouring settlements from observing the weekly obligatory prayers.
Witnesses said at about the same time, angry youths vandalized another JTF vehicle at Maisaje Juma’at mosque along the Post Office area when some soldiers allegedly insisted that worshippers must vacate a tarred road to enable them (soldiers) pass.
Earlier in the morning, a bomb had exploded at Bulunkutu, a densely populated area in Maiduguri, though security sources said the explosive was discovered and demobilized before it killed people.
“It was yet another hectic Friday for us,” Mohammed Ustaz, a resident of Maiduguri said. “May Almighty Allah consider the pains we are going through and bring succour to us, for the sake of the holy month of Ramadan,” he said.
“Many innocent passersby have been injured, some are in critical conditions,” Sulaiman Babagana, another witness at Shehuri said.
Confirming the three incidences, JTF spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa said, “a JTF patrol vehicle was attacked at about 1300 hrs today in Shehuri general area by suspected Boko Haram terrorists and the attack was resisted. The incident led to the killing of two Boko Haram terrorists, two JTF personnel were wounded (but) are stable and are responding to treatment at UMTH.
- Daily Trust