The Nigeria Army says it has killed some suspected members of Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Liddawati WalJihad, also known as Boko Haram, in Zaria.
Several people, including a woman, were arrested during the operation and the troops seized and destroyed a building which was heavily loaded with explosives and the storage of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
A statement signed by the Army Public Relations Officer, Captain Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the gunfight took place in the early hours of today when the militants engaged troops and the State Security Service (SSS) in a fierce fun battle in Gaskiya Layout, Tukur-Tukur, Zaria.
Captain Abdullahi said the engagement followed a tipoff that Boko Haram was planning a major suicide mission in Zaria, Kaduna and Suleija to coincide with this week’s Independence anniversary celebrations. A joint operation was then launched on a residential building in Gaskiya layout to flush out the terrorists. The statement did not say whether any innocent people were killed, or whether the militants were the only residents of the building.
Captain Abdullahi said the IEDs were intended for the various operations the sect was to carry out, and to inflict maximum casualty on army troops.
“As a result, a controlled detonation was carried out by Army Engineers so as to save other law abiding residents of the area and to stop further planning and execution of the nefarious, destructive, criminal and deadly activities of the Sect,” the statement said.
Investigations will determine the extent of the involvement of the individuals who were arrested during the operation.
Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said two people were killed in the operation and another bystander was injured.