At least seven security operatives and five gunmen were killed in Marte Local Government Area of Borno State when some gunmen suspected to be terrorists ambushed troops deployed in the area to maintain peace and order.
Also, unidentified gunmen, yesterday, killed four persons including a soldier, a policeman and an 80-year-old woman with her 13-year-old grandson in a gun duel at Song Local Government Area of Adamawa State, leaving the number of Nigerians lost to insecurity and violence on the third day of the New Year at 14 and the casualty figure in the last 10 days at 37.
However, the Joint Task Force, JTF, “Operation Restore Order” through its spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, denied that six soldiers and a policeman died in the Borno incident.
He insisted that one soldier, a policeman and five of the gunmen were killed during the gun duel.
The Borno incident, according to a source, occurred at about 2 p.m. when the gunmen laid ambush to one of the locations of the troops from the 21 Armoured Brigade, took them unawares and opened fire. The soldiers returned fire leading to an exchange of gunfire that lasted over an hour.
The source said seven security personnel and five gunmen suspected to be terrorists were killed during the encounter.
JTF denies casualty figure
Confirming the incident, Sagir in a statement in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital said: “This is to confirm that at about 2 p.m, yesterday, January 2, 2013, gunmen attacked 21 Brigade troops’ location at Marte, Marte Local Government Area in the Northern part of Borno State.”
He said in the process, one soldier, one police personnel and five gunmen lost their lives during an exchange of fire, adding that no civilian casualty was recorded.
He stated that during the clash, the troops were able to recover some items which include two AK 47 rifles, one locally-made double barrel gun, three magazines loaded with 35 rounds of ammunition, one dane gun and four machetes.
In Adamawa, the attackers struck at about 1: 30 am, killing four victims and wounded two other soldiers and some civilians who are now in critical conditions in some hospitals in the state.