•Gunmen kill ex-commissioner, immigration officer in Borno
Written by James Bwala, Maiduguri Monday, 06 August 2012
BARELY 48 hours after the Emir of Fika and chairman of Yobe State Traditional Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Muhammadu Ibn Idrissa, escaped death, after a suspected suicide bomber attacked a group of worshippers at the Potiskum Central Mosque on Friday, Damaturu, the state capital, on Sunday, was rocked by explosion laced with gunshots.
This is just as a security source disclosed that six men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) were killed after a suicide bomber ran into one of the JTF patrol vehicles, killing all the soldiers.
A resident, Mallam Adamu Yankuri, on Sunday, told Nigerian Tribune on phone that the bomb blast was heard in all parts of the state capital, followed by sporadic gunshots.
“I called some of my friends working in the hospital and they told me that gunmen attacked a convoy of the JTF patrol team on Gashua road. They did not tell me how many people got killed or the number of those injured, but from the way they were sounding, the situation could be worse,” Yankuri said.
Another resident, who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune on condition of anonymity, said that “killings are going on right now in Damaturu. Some people called us and advised that we leave our homes, because they (gunmen) are going from house to house, defying security presence.”
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Toyin Gbadegesin, said a security patrol team was attacked on Gashua road by gunmen.
The police spokesman said that “gunmen laid ambush for a security patrol team using explosive devices around Shagari low cost housing area,” adding that some military personnel in the targeted patrol vehicle were injured and rushed to the hospital for treatment.
“There were also reported gunshots around the ‘A’ division police station. We are still working to collect the details of the incident,” the PPRO said.
However, another source, Samaila Dauda, told the Nigerian Tribune that the explosion in Damaturu occurred, when a suicide bomber smashed his car against the JTF patrol vehicle, killing himself and the JTF personnel in the vehicle.
According to him, “the soldiers stopped at a U-turn to buy something in a shop close by. They were six in number. The other patrol vehicles had gone ahead, though we could not ascertain the number of military men in those vehicles. The soldiers who stopped at the U-turn were attacked by a suicide bomber, who ran into them, killing all the soldiers on board.”
Also on Sunday, former Borno Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Kadiri Kaza’a and a senior immigration officer with the Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS), Mohammed Lawan, were shot dead by suspected gunmen at their residences, in the presence of their wives and children at Bayan Railway Quarters and Gwange wards of the metropolis respectively.
The killing of Kaza’a, according to an eyewitness, occurred in the early hours of Sunday, while that of the immigration officer took place about 8.00 a.m, before men of the JTF rushed to the scene and cordoned off the area.
Confirming the killings, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Gideon Jibrin, said the retired government official and immigration officer attached to the Passport Office at the Customs Area were trailed to their respective residences by suspected gunmen, believed to members of the Boko Haram sect.
He said when they reached their residences, they asked for the whereabouts of Kaza’a and Lawan, insisting that the suspects, who disguised as errands boys, opened fire and shot them dead at close range.
The police spokesman said no arrests were made, but investigations had commenced.
Nigerian Tribune also learnt that the two affected areas had been cordoned off by JTF and the police, while stop and search exercise continued into the night before the 9.00 p.m curfew.
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