How Boko Haram Overpowered DSS Operatives In Bloody Shoot-Out
Different accounts have continued to trailvSunday’s gun battle between members of the Boko Haram sect and operatives of the Department of State Security Service (SSS).
Although, most of the account given clearly contradicts that of the DSS, which claimed it was an attempted jail break, a more detailed account from a security source has surfaced.
According to the source, one of the Boko Haram members told one of the DSS guards that he was pressed and needed to go to the toilet. The sect member’s request was obliged without being leg-chained. On getting to the toilet and finding the door locked, he applied force and uprooted the toilet seat unknown to the operative who was standing outside.
When the detainee knocked the door to indicate that he had finished, the DSS the operative opened the door, only to have his head smashed with the heavy toilet seat.
The operative was said to have collapsed. The sect member then collected the gun of the operative, went to the cell entrance and opened fire on the other operatives who were caught off-guard and set free many of his colleagues.
The source said it was the shooting at the DSS centre that alerted other operatives who mobilised to take on the sect members, leading to serious shoot-out between the terrorists and the operatives for over an hour before security was re-enforced and soldiers drafted to the scene.
Another account of the incident had it that trouble started around 6 a.m. during the normal handing and taking over of duties by DSS detainees’ handlers.
It was learnt that the shoot-out erupted when some of the suspected terrorists attempted to free their members and leave the detention facility, which is by the precincts of the Presidential Villa.
A competent source said as soon as one handler opened the gate leading to the cell where the detainees were being kept, 10 suspected terrorists rushed out, snatched the handler’s rifle and used it to shoot at him.
Alerted by the attack, some DSS handlers were reported to have retreated so as not to be killed by the rampaging suspected terrorists. The source said after shooting the first handler, the 10 suspected terrorists began to escape into different locations within the massive security compound.
Alarmed by the effrontery of the suspected terrorists, the DSS quickly deployed its men to quell the uprising, resulting in heavy shooting that claimed the lives of some of the suspects.
Many DSS operatives and Boko Haram detainees were also injured in the ensuing stampede.
The shot DSS operative, whose name could not be immediately ascertained, was immediately rushed to an undisclosed hospital. A source said the shot operative was in a critical condition but had not died.
The spokesperson of the organisation, Mrs. Marilyn Ogar, said two operatives of the service who sustained serious injuries have been hospitalised.
Her words: “Following our earlier releases, it has been established that 18 casualties were recorded, while two service personnel sustained serious injuries. Three other detainees who sustained gunshot injuries during the incident have also died.”
It was learnt that the DSS, which is highly embarrassed by the incident, has begun investigation into why the detainees handler decided to go and open the cell gate alone without being accompanied by others, as is the standard practice.
According to the source, “the whole episode occurred between 6:30 am and 7am on Sunday during the normal hand-over and take-over of detainees.
“The standard rule is that you cannot go alone to open the gate leading to the detainees’ cell but as soon as the man opened the gate, he was attacked and he tried to run away and was shot. The shot operative has been taken to hospital.”
The uprising led to the deployment of soldiers to the DSS Headquarters and around the Presidential Villa.
At press time, the entire road linking the DSS headquarters, Presidential Villa, Mambilla Barracks, Niger Barracks, Guards Brigade headquarters and Lungi Barracks, have been cordoned off while bomb disposal experts of the army, K9 Dogs and other security agencies have been deployed to the area to join in containing the situation.
Heavily armed counter terrorism training soldiers and K9 Dogs, accompanied by DSS personnel were said to have entered inside the DSS headquarters with a view to flushing out the sect members who continued to shoot at operatives and arresting those that were unarmed.
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