Boko Haram: Military Confirms 21 Persons Killed In Yobe Attack
The Nigerian Army announced a 24-hour curfew on Damaturu, the Yobe state capital today after a bloody encounter between soldiers and Boko Haram insurgents left 21 persons dead in addition to the declared casualty figure of 74 others killed in neighbouring Borno state.
Several civilians including a staff of an Abuja-based Daily Trust newspapers were among the killed while scores were wounded during multiple attacks on Damaturu, the Yobe State capital by suspected Boko Haram members, prompting the army authority in the area to impose a 24 hour curfew on the city.
Witnesses said the attackers in Damaturu first opened fire around the NNPC mega station, a suburb area along Maiduguri road to signal their arrival at about 5.30pm local time on Thursday. Spokesman of the 3 Division Special Operation Battalion in Yobe, Captain Eli Lazarus who confirmed the attack stated that “the security forces in the state capital are still in gun battle with the insurgents”
“The 3 Division Special operation Battalion, Damaturu hereby imposed a 24 hours curfew across Yobe state with immediate effect as the battalion steps up its operation to rid the state of insurgents,” Eli said through a statement. He urged law abiding citizens to remain calm and to accord the security operatives the usual cooperation.
One of the victims of the attack, Mallam Abdulwasiu Akinsanya, was until his killing last Thursday a production staff of Media Trust, publishers of Daily Trust newspapers at the Maiduguri regional office of the company. He was reportedly caught in the midst of gun fire while traveling with his wife to Kano. A senior Staff of the Maiduguri bureau of the company said the deceased was killed at about 5.30pm. “Our children and I were with him when he was killed, The body of my slain husband has been taken away to a hospital by security agents. I am here (police station) with my children,” Mrs Bilkisu, who is now taking refuge at the Maisandari Police Divisional in Damaturu told journalists.
Meanwhile, the Army in another statement today confirmed that 21 persons were killed in the face-off. “Twenty one of the insurgents were killed during the encounter while 3 of their vehicles were recovered. Other items recovered include 4 AK 47 Rifles, 1FN Rifle, 1 rocket Propelled grenade, 1 rocket Propelled grenade bomb (RPG), 1 extra barrel of GPMG, several Improvised Explosive Devices and 709 rounds of assorted Ammunition,” Captain Lazarus Eli said.
” At about 5:30pm Wednesday 24 October, 2013, gunmen in large numbers suspected to be members Of Boko Haram terrorists attacked a military checkpoint close to the NNPC Mega Station along Damaturu -Maiduguri road. Troops of 3 Division Special Operation Battalion had a fierce encounter with the terrorists in various parts of Damaturu the Yobe state capital for several hour”, he added.
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