Author Topic: Islamist Taliban Jihadist in Northern Nigeria attack Police/civilans  (Read 2039 times)

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Offline usman11

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From DESMOND MGBORH, Kano, TIMOTHY OLA, Maiduguri and ABU ONYELEBOCHO, Potiskum

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Security forces on Monday fought gun battles with Islamist militants who staged attacks on police stations, prisons, churches and other government buildings in Borno, Yobe and Kano states, leaving no fewer than 100 dead.


Corpses of Islamist militants killed by security agents in Maiduguri on Monday

The attacks came on the heels of similar incident in Bauchi, which death toll the acting Inspector General of Police, Mr Ogbonnaya Onovo put at 65, including five police casualties.

Maiduguri, the capital of Borno was thrown into pandemonium on Monday as members of the Mohammed Yusuf Movement (Yusuffiya), Islamic sect in the state made real their threat as they burnt down some police stations, prisons and churches. The Islamist militants also set free inmates of the Maiduguri Maximum Prison, while similar attacks were carried out on a police station and church in Potiskum, Yobe State.

The crisis broke few days after nine of the sectarian members were arrested by the police for being in possession of locally made bombs, explosives, dangerous chemicals and weapons, while one was also killed by a bomb explosion. The leader of the sect, Mohammed Yusuf had in a well-publicized message recently threatened to stage a show-down with those he tagged enemies of Islam, calling on his followers to prepare for a Jihad.

By Sunday night, some members of the sect members stormed the State Police Headquarters along Kano-Jos Road in Maiduguri and attacked the Mobile Police senior officers quarters beside the headquarters, killing two police officers.

“The militants came in the midnight with dangerous weapons and some substances suspected to be bombs. They caught us unaware because we never thought they could target the training college side. They immediately set some quarters ablaze and most of us ran out of our houses before our colleagues and Operation Flush men came to the scene,” a police officer who witnessed the incident told Daily Sun on condition of anonymity.

Daily Sun gathered that the sect members arrived the quarters around 11.30 pm, shouting Allhu Akbar (God is great) and immediately set nine buildings, six cars and two motorcycles on fire. Two police officers were reportedly killed.

Sources said the men of the state special security task force, Operation Flush and some mobile policemen who came to the scene shortly, engaged the militants in a gun battle, forcing the sect members to beat a retreat.

Those who escaped the police onslaught among the fundamentalists were said to have proceeded to the Maiduguri Maximum Security Prison. By early Monday morning, the prison has been burnt while all the inmates were set free. A prison warden was also killed just as some churches around the railway area in the metropolis were torched by the rampaging sect.

Unconfirmed reports claimed two churches were also burnt in Gamboru-Ngala, a border town in the state.

Over 100 corpses of members of the sect who were reportedly shot security officials police were seen littering the deserted streets of Maiduguri as at the time of filing this report. Movements in and out of the state capital were restricted even as commercial activities were paralyzed. All banks, schools and companies were shut down as combined team of police; state security services (SSS) and army mounted surveillance in the state.

The Commissioner of Police, Christopher Dega and the commandant of the Operation Flush, Col Ben Ahanotu could not be reached as at the time of filing report. Ironically, all the mobile telephone networks were not working fueling speculations that the authorities might have asked the operators to jam their communication devices to prevent the sect members who are scattered across the North from coordinating their operations.

Meanwhile, Governor Ali Sheriff has declared a dusk to dawn curfew from Monday.

A three paragraph statement signed by the Director of Press in the Government House, Zanna Usman Chiroma stated that the curfew, which was declared in all parts of the two local government areas in the Maiduguri metropolis “will take effect from 7p.m to 6a.m daily until the security situation improves.”

The governor advised residents to stay in their homes during the period as no movement would be allowed, assuring all citizens of full protection of lives and property.

He also promised to lift the curfew as soon as the situation was brought under control.

Similarly, the religious upheaval has spilled to Yobe State as attacks in Potiskum in the early hours of Monday morning left at least one policeman and a personnel of the state fire service dead.

Daily Sun gathered that the members numbering over 40 attacked the police station in Potiskum, freed suspects in custody, looted the armoury and then set ablaze the station and the office of the Federal Road Safety Commission adjacent to it.

The attacks were launched, according to sources at the period it was raining catsß and dogs.

Mr. Mohammed Paddah, spokesman of the Yobe State Police Command who confirmed the attack said the State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Abbas had paid a visit to the scenes of the attacks as well as the police armoury.

The police spokesman confirmed the death of the two uniformed men, adding that seven other police officers were injured in the attack. He said some suspects had been arrested and were already being investigated.

He called on members of the public to give vital information on suspects to enable the police nip attacks in the bud.

As at the time of filing this report, Governor Ibrahim Geidam who was said to have gone to a town in Gulani local government area had not made any statement on the attacks.

Also a police station in Wudil town situated on the outskirts of Kano was attacked on Monday.

Police repelled the attack, killing three members of the group and arresting 33 others, Kano police spokesman, Baba Mohammed said. Two police officers were injured in the clashes in the town, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) east of Kano.

“An unspecified number of these extremists attacked the police station at around 4:00a.m and injured two officers but our men repelled them, killed three and apprehended 33 of them,” said Mohammed.

He said the attack was similar to the one staged overnight at a police station in Potiskum in Yobe State.

Police have meantime besieged the Kara neighbourhood of Wudil where the group has a mosque, preparing for an offensive to flush them out.

A Kano resident said police were patrolling the streets of the bustling capital following the attack in the nearby town.

“The situation is still very tense but armed policemen are patrolling the streets and trouble-prone parts of Kano to make sure they put the situation under complete control.”

He suspected the militants were fleeing from Yobe and Bauchi states where they launched attacks on Sunday and Monday.

The latest wave of fighting broke out on Sunday in Bauchi State when police hit back at militants after they attacked a police station at dawn.

The Nigerian Taliban emerged in 2004 when it set up a base dubbed Afghanistan in Kanamma village in Yobe, on the border with Niger, from where it attacked police outposts and killed police officers.

Its membership is mainly drawn from school dropouts. The north of Nigeria is majority Muslim, although large Christian minorities have settled in the main towns, raising tensions between the two groups.

Since 1999 and the return of a civilian regime to Nigeria’s central government, 12 northern states have introduced Islamic Sharia law.

More than 700 people died last November in Jos, capital of Plateau state, when a political feud over a local election degenerated into bloody confrontation between Muslims and Christians.

Sectarian clashes between Muslims and Christians in Bauchi State killed 14 people in February. A Muslim mob went on the rampage, attacking Christians and burning churches in reprisals over the burning of two mosques, which Muslims blamed on Christians, they said.

One of the Nigerian Taliban leaders, Aminu Tashen-Ilimi, had told newsmen in a 2005 interview that the group intended to lead an armed insurrection and rid society of “immorality” and “infidelity.”

 

 


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