The soldiers were on routine surveillance around 8pm on Sunday evening when the gunmen reportedly ambushed them and a gun battle erupted, which raged for a while. Witnesses said many people, including soldiers and innocent by standers, are believed to have died in the battle.
Spokesman of the military command in Borno State Lieutenant Abdullahi Muhammad, who spoke to newsmen yesterday, confirmed that there was a clash between soldiers and the gunmen, a development which prompted the cordoning off of the area and the arrest of many people in Gwange, Budun, Galadima junction, London Ciki and other red spots in the Borno State capital.
Muhammad did not however confirm the number of people that died or sustained injuries during the attack. “Yes, the gunmen had actually ambushed a convoy of our operatives which resulted in exchange of gunshots. I cannot talk to you about dead now or the people that sustained injuries but we have arrested many people who are being investigated now. As I am talking to you now, our superiors are in a meeting and we would give you details later,” the army spokesman said.
Reporters who visited the 21 Armoured Brigade in Maiduguri yesterday saw over 150 people who were arrested during a raid by the military shortly after the duel with the gunmen. “We are sieving them to ascertain the culpability or otherwise. Those that were not found suspicious would be released. I want to appeal to the people to cooperate with us,” the army spokesman also said.
Meanwhile, residents of the city of Maiduguri are expressing dismay over the new security measures introduced by the Joint Task Force (JTF) which entails ransacking of houses and arresting the occupants without warrant as well as directing people including women and the elderly to raise their hands up for complete searching.
“The manner they (JTF) are approaching the issue is unacceptable. How can a male soldier or policeman compel a married woman to remove her hijab on the main road on the pretence that she is being searched?” Halima Musa, a mother of six complained.
She said the JTF members are crossing boundaries. “They touch everywhere in our body….what manner of work is this?” She suggested that female policemen and female soldiers should be deployed to the roads to investigate female civilians.
Source: Dailytrust Newspaper