No fewer than 17 Islamist militants were killed, yesterday, in Kano after two days of sustained exchange of fire between the militants and security agents. Four others were also reportedly killed in Damaturu, Yobe State capital. It was gathered that three undergraduates were among those arrested by security agents.
The gunmen had reportedly launched an operation, attacking seven targets with explosives and assault rifles in Kano during the attack that lasted about 12 hours. The military Joint Task Force, JTF, reportedly killed two of the attackers in Damaturu, while one was arrested in the 30-minute fierce battle that later spread to the Federal Polytechnic, Damaturu, premises.
It was alleged that a group of unknown gunmen, suspected to be terrorists, had earlier attacked a police out-post in Sabon Fegi ward in the metropolis, killing two civilians. A woman and her child were hit by stray bullets during the exchange of gunfire between the gunmen and men of JTF.
Kano State Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris told newsmen in Kano that the gunmen attacked their targets with explosives and assault riffles, adding that no fewer than 14 Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, were defused by the Bomb Disposal Unit of the police command during the gunfight.
He said: “Some extremists launched an attack with bombs and assault rifles on Dala Police Station, Jakara Police Barracks, Goron Dutse Division, Panshekara Division, 52 Squadron Mobile Police Unit, Challawa; and also planted bombs at the Junior Secondary School, Sabuwar Doka in Ungogo Local Government.
“The extremists, who were about 30, attacked policemen on duty with assault rifles and IEDs, and the policemen gallantly repelled the attacks.” He added that the ‘’extremists’’ also attacked the Goron Dutse Prison yard, but the policemen on duty repelled their attacks successfully. He said no damage was done to the prisons, even as the situation was now under control.
The police boss, however, revealed that the command lost a police Sergeant just as another sergeant sustained injuries.
According to him, items recovered from the religious extremists included five assault rifles, 220 live ammunition, five vehicles, three motorcycles, large quantities of drugs and syringes, and N100,000 cash.
The Commissioner, however, commended the people of the state for their cooperation with law enforcement agencies and urged them not to relent in providing useful information.
However, commenting on the incident in Damaturu, the Yobe State Police Commissioner, Patrick Egbuniwe, said in a telephone interview yesterday that “there were attacks on a police and military posts by suspected gunmen, where two civilians were killed in the Sabon Fegi ward and the Federal Polytechnic staff quarters.”
He said there were still some assailants hiding among the communities in the metropolis, warning that the police and JTF would continue to raid such hideouts, which pose increased security threats to lives and property in the state.
He said there was no casualty during Tuesday’s attacks on the part of men of the JTF and police, urging the residents to always cooperate with security agents, by providing useful information on the hideouts and modus operandi of terrorists in their midst.