GUNMEN suspected to be members of Boko Haram Saturday attacked seven hilly communities in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State and killed about 15 people. They attacked the areas with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and petrol-bombs, torching many houses and carting away food items and livestock.
Though details of the exact number of people and houses destroyed in the multiple attacks are sketchy, an anonymous community leader of Kunde, said that 15 people were killed by the armed terrorists, when they overran six other communities of Gathahure, Hwa’a, Tihezeh, Hrazah, Hembe and Gjigga on the Mandara Hills, that stretch for 16 kilometres, east of Gwoza, the council headquarters.
This came as members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) smashed a Boko Haram hideout in Fune Local Council of Yobe State and recovered arms and ammunition used by the sect.
Youths popularly called Civilian JTF invaded Sulimanti Ward, a suburb of Maiduguri Metropolis in a search of a Boko Haram chief killer.
The Kunde community leader said residents of Kunde and the six others fled to Gwoza town, Barawa, Agaplawa, Kurana Bassa, Kwatara, Limankara and Ngoshe Ndahang.
The other communities ransacked by the terrorists, he said, include border towns of the Republic of Cameroon, where some of the residents had fled with their wives and children.
Confirming the incident yesterday in Maiduguri, a top military source of the Special Operations Forces (MISOF) at Barawa, a border village said: “some of the villages on Gwoza Hills cannot be accessed by our men because of the difficult terrain. Our men can only be stationed at this village for our operations with fighter jets that could bombard the hills with cannons to destroy the training camps and hideouts of Boko Haram sect members.”
On casualties of the attacks, he said that one of the community leaders reported to the Divisional Police Officer of Gwoza that 15 people were killed by the terrorists.
Due to the total closure of GSM network services in Borno State for the past one month, the JTF Spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa and the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Gideon Jubrin could not be reached for comments.
JTF Recover arms in Yobe
Twenty – four hours after attacking a JTF post at Potiskum in Yobe State, soldiers smashed a Boko Haram hideout and recovered of arms and ammunition, including police jacket and helmets; after they had attacked another post in Fune Local Government Area of the State on Friday night.
Displaying the recovered arms and ammunition yesterday in Damaturu, spokesman of JTF, Lieutenant Eli Lazarus said: “the gunmen had on Friday attacked our JTF check point in Fune council area; and snatched a Police vehicle containing 86 helmets and jackets. Our men have also
Made recoveries of two vehicles, arms, ammunition and other materials used for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).”
Speaking on how the insurgents’ hideout was smashed, he said: “our men pursued and engaged them in a fierce gun battle, over-powered the terrorists and recovered this stolen vehicle as well as another one used by the Boko Haram armed sect.
“Other items recovered include, an AK47 rifle, three Rocket Propelled Gun (RPG) bombs, three RPG chargers, a riot gun, and 485 rounds of ammunition.”
Lt. Lazarus also said that, 42 police fragmentation jackets, 44 police helmets, six AK47 rifle magazines, 80 fragmentation blades and illicit drugs were also recovered from the hoodlums.