In the aftermath of heavy explosions and gunfire in the town of Potiskum, a spokesman of the Nigerian Armed Forces Joint Task Force (JTF) in Yobe State has spoken to our reporter about the development.
In a phone conversation with a correspondent of SaharaReporters, Lieutenant Eli Lazarus of the JTF in Yobe State said a contingent of the task force engaged some suspected terrorists following a tip-off.
SaharaReporters learnt that, in the early hours of today, JTF members were tipped off about a suspected terrorist hideout in the Anguwan Jaji area of Potiskum. The JTF reportedly cordoned off the area.
“In the process of searching the area, improvised explosive devices were thrown at our troops,” confirmed Lieutenant Lazarus speaking from Damaturu, the Yobe State capital.
Our sources said that the JTF then engaged the suspected terrorists in an exchange of gunfire. Lieutenant Lazarus disclosed that some arms were recovered and that a search was still ongoing in the area.
According to the JTF, the recovered arms and equipment included two AK 47 rifles, three burnt AK 47 rifles, and one rocket propelled grenade. Other seized equipment included seven RPGs, three RPG chargers, two bullet proof jackets, 1,367 (7.62mm) ammunition, 10 unexploded IEDs and 42 assorted rifle magazines. In addition, the JTF confiscated a blue Honda Civic car, two Toyota Hilux cars, one motorcycle, two generating sets, six spare tires, one VHS video cassette, one hard drive, one laptop computer, several SIM cards, one gas cylinder and four vehicle number plates.
The JTF appealed to residents of Potiskum to remain calm, describing the situation as “under control.”
Lieutenant Lazarus explained that no member of the task force had sustained any serious injuries in the fight. “Only one of our men had a slight leg injury,” he said. He said he was unable to discuss the extent of damage inflicted on the terrorists. “We are still working and have not ascertained now,” he said, adding, “All that you should know is we are on top.”
In a separate development, SaharaReporters has learnt that a bomb also exploded near a market in Mubi, Adamawa State. As at the time of filing this report, our correspondent had not been able to obtain details of any casualties or damage from military authorities in Mubi.
Mubi was the scene of a recent horrific execution of more than 40 youngsters, many of them students at the Federal Polytechnic in the town. A security source told SaharaReporters that he had not been briefed about the latest explosion in the town.