No fewer than 12 persons were killed and a school completely burned down in the renewed violence that shook Maiduguri, Borno State capital.
The mayhem happened in three separate areas of the state when gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram slaughtered five people in Jiddari Polo, gunned down four others in London Ciki area and also killed yet another person at Baga Road area of the state.
The JTF in a statement claimed to have killed two of the suspected Boko Haram terrorists and arrested 13 others in Polo and Shehuri ward following the violence and explosion that rocked the state capital at the eve of Eid-El- Maulud celebration.
Our correspondent gathered that at about 10:00 pm on Tuesday, gunmen in large number attacked some houses at Polo Jiddari ward in Maiduguri where they slaughtered five people. It was also learnt that another set of the attackers gun down four people in London ciki area and one person at Baga road at about 5:00 pm.
A resident of Federal low cost housing estate, who did not want his name in print, told newsmen that, three golf cars and three Keke Napep belonging to the gunmen who abandon their ride and run into some houses in Jajeri ward were burnt down by soldiers who pursued the gunmen and also shelled the houses where they took cover.
“Nobody knows the number of gunmen or the people killed in the raid at the residence where the gunmen took cover but we believe many people perhaps innocent ones inclusive might have been trapped in the houses while JTF was shelling the house. Many, we believed, have died,” he asserted.
However, when the Joint task Force on Operation Restore Order in Borno state sent in their release confirming the incident, the statement reads: “Information available to the Joint Task Force Operation RESTORE ORDER indicated that some suspected gunmen killed three people at about 3.am today Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 in Jiddari – Pulo, Maiduguri metropolis. The JTF was alerted; it cordoned off the area, arrested three suspects and recovered one assault rifle with ten rounds of ammunition. Two gunmen lost their lives and a soldier was wounded during an exchange of fire. The suspects are in JTF custody and effort is on to apprehend the fleeing members of the gang.”
A relation of two of the victims slaughtered in Jiddari Polo, Hajiya Uwani Shuiabu told newsmen that, she received a call from one of the deceased’s wife at about 10:00 pm on Tuesday that, “they came and they have killed your brothers.”
According to her, they died a brutal death because their heads were cut off. She also called on government and security agencies to come to the aid of unarmed residents and beam their search light particularly in Jiddari Polo where it is believed that a lot of gunmen have relocated and are killing innocent people.
In another development gunmen attacked Binta Sugar area of Maiduguri and burnt down Gomari II Primary School in the area at about 7:00 pm on Tuesday evening.
Also at about 11:00 am violence erupted at Shehuri Ward of Maiduguri metropolitan following a bomb blast, which was believed to have been planted by suspected members of Boko Haram.
While confirming the incident, spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa said, “Information available to JTF Operation Restore Order revealed that there was an IED explosion at about 12:00 Wednesday, January 23, 2013 in Shehuri ward of Maiduguri Metropolitan. The JTF rushed to the scene, cordon and search the area and arrested 10 suspects. Operation is ongoing, the suspects are in JTF custody undergoing interrogation, no life was lost and nobody was injured.”