Sunday, 7 October 2012
Gunmen open fire on residents, kill 17 •Army retaliates, kills 30 •Terrorists kill 2, injure 1 in Zaria •Police discover bomb factory in Minna
The latest orgy of violence, Nigerian Tribune authoritatively learnt, had a semblance with the Mubi killing as the gunmen invaded the village in the dead of the night, shooting their victims, a development which forced some of the inhabitants of Dogon Kuka, who managed to escape the attack, to flee into the thick forest.
Investigation revealed that operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) were said to have engaged the terrorists in a gun duel that lasted for more than 45 minutes before they retreated from the village.
A resident, identified as Suleiman Sanni told Nigerian Tribune that “It was a terrible experience as many bullets were flying around when the JTF was battling to dislodge the Boko Haram sect members. The sound of the gunshots was deafening and everybody had to run for his or her life. Even, the fear has spread to the state capital, Damaturu. People are leaving in large number and I heard some of the terrorists have been apprehended by the JTF soldiers.”
At the time of filing this report, Boko Haram had not claimed responsibility for the attack in Dogon Kuka, inhabited by Muslims, which is about 70 kilometres from Damaturu, but the authorities of the JTF cautioned that anybody or community that harbours terrorists, criminals and other categories of hoodlums would be dealt with according to the dictates of law.
Sources informed the Nigerian Tribune that with the growing insecurity in the state, which had paralysed socio-economic activities, culminating in the closure of some financial institutions, including banks, terrified residents left in droves. Some political functionaries have also temporarily moved their families to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, for fear of being attacked by gunmen.
Confirming the killing to newsmen on Sunday, the Yobe State Commissioner of Police, Mr Patrick Egbuniwe, stated that “a group of unknown gunmen stormed Dogon Kuka village and opened fire on residents. From all indications, they were on a shooting spree. Some people might have been killed.”
On the number of casualties, the police boss said, “I don’t have details yet, but we have deployed security personnel to the village to ascertain the nature and extent of the attack.”
While declining to confirm if the gunmen were members of the Boko Haram sect, which has been blamed for a string of deadly attacks in several parts of Yobe and neighbouring Borno states, Egbuniwe said security agencies were on top of the situation, assuring that the police would not relent in their efforts to ensure security of lives and properties.
Reacting to the incident, the JTF spokesman in Yobe, Lieutenant Eli Lazarus, said operatives of the special security force had restored normalcy to the troubled village, warning that anybody or individuals with useful information over threat to security should not hesitate to report to the JTF.
Similarly, the JTF spokesman in Borno State, Lieutenant-Colonel Sagir Musa, on Sunday, advised residents of the state to remain calm and be security conscious by giving timely information on any suspicious movements, persons or groups, pointing out that no effort would be spared to protect the people.
In another development, gunmen in Zaria, Kaduna State, at the weekend hit a tarverna, killing a medical doctor and one other person
The police have since begun investigation into the killing which an eyewitness described as gruesome.
An eyewitness said the gunmen entered the relaxation spot at about 8.00 p.m. on the Enugu/Kings road, Sabo Garin, Zaria and shot at the medical doctor whose name was given as Dr Martins Agu, of Railway Staff Hospital, Zaria.
“Also shot dead was a man believed to be Dr Agu’s friend and a lady companion whose leg was said to have been shattered by bullets,” the eyewitness said.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Kaduna State, DSP Aminu Lawan, said two men on a motorcycle opened fire on people relaxing at a beer parlour.
“Three persons were affected, but it was two of them that were killed; the third person was injured. Our men were able to get to the scene of the incident when they heard the gunshot, and they picked up some exhibits which will help us in trailing the culprits. What I cannot confirm to you is whether one of the victims is a medical doctor or not.
“The sound of the gunshot, according to an eyewitness, set the people in the area scampering to safety in different directions,” adding that before security operatives could arrive at the area, the gunmen had zoomed off.
Police discover bomb factory in Minna
A surveillance by the Niger State police command, on Saturday night, led to the discovery of an impoverished explosive devices (IEDs) manufacturing factory in Maitun-mbi quarters, suspected to belong to the Boko Haram, on the outskirts of Minna.
A team of detectives, acting on a tip-off by one of the five suspects arrested in connection with the murder of three policemen attached to the command last week, stormed the bomb factory located behind a private school in the area at about 8.30 p.m.
Nigerian Tribune further gathered that the raid, which lasted for about two hours, led to the recovery of two 1.5gms gas cylinder cans already prepared for explosion.
Other weapons allegedly found in the house, it was learnt, included 30 cans of disposable food beverage and soft drinks also stockpiled with explosives, 25 kilogrammes of fertiliser, batteries, remote control devices and other electrical gadgets.
Further checks, however, revealed that unspecified numbers of the sect members were arrested in connection with the raid on Sunday evening.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Pius Edorbo, refused to give details on the raid, but promised to issue a statement on the matter later.
Meanwhile, a manhunt for the suspected sect members was ongoing by a joint military team at Maitunmbi, Bosso Local Government Area and Tunga communities in Chanchaga Local Government Area of the state at the time of filing this report on Sunday.