15 suspects arrested
STILL on the prowl despite the Federal Government’s efforts to rein it in, the Boko Haram has left four policemen and two persons dead in the wake of fresh attacks in Kano, Yobe and Niger States.
But an agency report indicated yesterday that the figure of the policemen that were killed was up to six.
The suspected Boko Haram gunmen struck a few metres away from the residence of the Acting Inspector-General of Police (IG), Mohammed Dahiru Dikko Abubakar, in the Kano metropolis.
The renewed attacks came barely 24 hours after men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) engaged the group in a shoot-out in the Tishama area of the metropolis.
Investigations revealed that the policemen who were attached to the IG’s Kano residence were taking breakfast at a nearby eatery when the gunmen who came on four motorbikes struck.
Though there were fears that the two injured policemen may have already passed on, police authorities in Kano disclosed that they had been taken to an unknown hospital in the metropolis for medical attention.
In a statement, the Kano State police command spokesperson, Magaji Musa Majia, confirmed the attacks, adding that the incident occurred along the Bayero University, Kano (BUK) road after Gidan Murtala.
Majia, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), said that the affected policemen were attacked while on foot patrol.
He further stated that 15 persons had been arrested in connection with the incident.
But on the casualty figure in Kano, a source told the Agence France Presse (AFP): “Four policemen have been killed in an attack this morning (yesterday) by unknown gunmen on a police check-point not far from the IG’s house.”
A hospital source said four bodies of men in police uniform were taken to a hospital morgue after the attack. An AFP reporter saw the bodies of four policemen with gunshot wounds inside the mortuary.
“All the four policemen were brought in this morning. As you can see, they all have gunshot wounds,” a morgue attendant at Kano’s largest public hospital, said.
But in a statement, the AFP quoted the Kano State police spokesman, Majia, as saying: “Unknown gunmen on four motorcycles attacked our policemen on foot patrol. As a result of the attack, two died on the spot while two were injured.”
Besides, barely five days after the killing of the District Head of Geidam, in Yobe State, suspected Boko Haram gunmen attacked Pompomari and Ajeri wards of Damaturu, the state capital, killing a cleric, Malam Mai Tatabara and an Arabic teacher, Modu Goroma, at 7.30 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. on Tuesday in that order.
The cleric and teacher were according to a witness in Pompomari ward, Mala Baana, trailed to their residences after the evening prayers from a mosque and shot them dead.
Confirming the killings yesterday, the Yobe State Police Commissioner, Tanko Lawan, said: “The attacks and killings by the suspected Boko Haram gunmen were immediately followed by a bomb blast in Pompomari ward, where the police on December 23, 2011 discovered a house for the local making of explosive devices and other bomb making materials.”
He added that the blast did not cause any casualty, but that it scared away residents of the ward, while the gunmen went after their targets.
He said that the Arabic teacher was an official of Government Day Secondary School, Damaturu.
On whether arrests had been made, Lawan said: “No arrests have been made in the separate attacks and killings on Tuesday. But the information we got from some residents indicated that the cleric and Arabic teacher are on the hit list of the sect in Yobe State.”
The attacks in Niger State that led to the death of two policemen came barely one week after three policemen were killed at Wushishi Housing Estate Police Post in Minna, Niger State.
The policemen, a constable and a corporal, were said to be at their duty post seated on a bench at a barricaded road very close to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega filling station along eastern by-pass in the capital when the gunmen attacked and killed two of them instantly.
The PPRO (ASP), Richard Oguche who did not give details of the officers, confirmed the story and said that the bodies of the policemen who were killed at about 9.30 p.m. on Wednesday had been deposited at the General Hospital, Minna.
He said the policemen were three but that the third constable went to get sachet water for his colleagues when the gunmen came on a motorbike and shot them at a close range.