Nine Suspected Boko Haram Members Killed In Borno
NO fewer than 10 members of the same family were hacked to death on Thursday night at Koghum village in Vwang District of Jos South Council of Plateau State as they were meeting on how to bury their deceased grandmother, whose body has been in the mortuary.
Distraught, the other family members yesterday went to the mortuary to take the body of their grandmother for burial, along with the 10 members who were cruelly murdered by unknown assailants.
In Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, about nine suspected Boko Haram members were feared killed yesterday after several gunmen attacked the Ibrahim Taiwo Divisional Police Station on Baga Road, which was repelled by men of Joint Task Force (JTF) in the early hours of the day.
Confirming the attacks in Maiduguri, the Borno State Police Command spokesman, Gideon Jibrin, said the attacks began at about 11pm Thursday and continued into the early hours of Friday, when the armed hoodlums were repelled by a combined team of police and JTF.
Confirming the Jos incident to journalists, Special Adviser to the Plateau State Governor on Media and Publicity, Pam Ayuba, said: “A family of 10 comprising the mother, father, two-month-old child and other kids were mercilessly killed in the attack.”
Ayuba gave the names of those killed as Jacob Musa (32), Luka Musa (32), Mrs. Serah Musa, (22), Benjamin and Musa. According to Ayuba, the people told him that “the attackers were speaking Fulani language and they were able to identify two of them as Sani and Idris as the attackers were constantly mentioning them during the invasion.
“So, involvement of Fulani militants and soldiers cannot be ruled out as expended shells were found at the scene of the incident,” he said.
He added: “Twenty four shells were picked up from the scene of the shooting. One can see holes of firing on the doors, windows and walls of the victims.
“The inside of the rooms was full of the blood of the victims. Those two Fulani men, Sani and Idris are well known to the inhabitants who quickly identified them immediately the attackers were calling them in the night.”
Ayuba said government condemned the attack, describing it as very tragic. He said the attack was another unprecedented one which should be condemned by every peace-loving person and appealed to the people to be calm and not take the law into their hands.
He was however quick to add that the people should stand up and defend themselves. He disclosed that the assailants had earlier sent a message to the community that they were coming to attack them on an unspecified day and that they should get ready. The content of the message was made known to the security operatives.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state Police Command, Deputy Superintendent John Onuigbo, confirmed the incident which he said took place at 9.45pm on that day when unknown gunmen invaded that community. He added that his men quickly mobilized themselves there, but before they could get there, the attackers had run away.
Onuigbo said that the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Command is investigating the incident with a view to tracking down the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
The Special Task Force (STF) confirmed the number of casualties in a statement released by 4.30 pm yesterday. STF Spokesman, Captain Salisu Ibrahim Mustapha was said to have travelled out of the country. But Lt. Kingsley Egbo, who signed the statement on his behalf, said: “This is to inform the general public and good people of Plateau State that on 21 February 2013, by 10.00 pm, unknown assailant stormed and attacked a compound in Koghum village, a hinterland of Vom, Jos South Local Government Area.
“It was alleged that suspected Fulani assailants stormed a lone compound and slaughtered a family of 10 before escaping into the vast bush in the surrounding environs. Efforts by the Special Task Force troops and police to gain access to the scene with a view to combing the area was foiled by the locals.
“The locals attacked and assaulted the security team. Investigation revealed that the casualties had cuts even though several gunshots were fired. Currently, all escape routes linked to the general area have been sealed. Investigations are ongoing to uncover those responsible for this act.”
He continued: “Also, at about 11.00 pm same day, an unconfirmed number of hoodlums who came in a Toyota Sienna bus blocked the road at Farin Lamba along Mararaban Jama’a-Riyom route and robbed three passengers who eventually sustained minor injuries. The Special Task Force troops deployed close to the area immediately moved to the scene and the hoodlums abandoned their vehicle. The injured victims were rescued and taken to Farin Lamba Police Station. Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in the general area to prevent a recurrence.
“The Special Task Force wishes to use this medium to assure of the citizens of Plateau to go about their lawful business. It also implores the locals of communities on the Plateau to cooperate with the various security agencies as this would make crime fighting/prevention a lot easier for the security agencies as security is a collective responsibility.
“The Special Task Force enjoins all law abiding citizens to remain calm as efforts are being made to guarantee safety of lives and property.”
The Guardian also learn that by 6.30 am yesterday, the police station, Baga and Federal Low-Cost Housing Estate roads in Maiduguri were cordoned off by the JTF to prevent further attacks and killings.
At about 9 am yesterday, all the traders along with their shops and market stalls were evicted and cleared off the entire areas and roadsides of the police station.
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