News24

Nigeria troops, cops raid Islamists base

2012-10-07 20:55

Kano - Nigerian troops on Sunday shot dead four suspected members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram following a raid on their hideout in the northeastern state of Yobe, the state police chief said.

"Our men carried out a raid this morning in Kandahar area of [the capital] Damaturu. We killed four suspected members of the sect in a shoot-out and arrested 11 others," Patrick Egbuniwe told AFP.

"We carried out the raid because of the incessant ambush on JTF [Joint Task Force] patrol teams by Boko Haram gunmen in the area," he said.

The JTF, a special unit made up of troops drawn from the armed forces, the police and the state security service, recovered five rifles and 78 rounds of ammunition during the raid, Egbuniwe said.

"Our intelligence was able to identify the hideout in Damaturu and we swooped on it," the police commissioner said without elaborating.

Islamist extremists have been blamed for more than 1 400 deaths since 2010 as part of their insurgency in northern and central Nigeria.

Last month in Damaturu, the military said it killed 35 suspected Boko Haram members in fierce gun battles. Some 60 people were also arrested there following a door-to-door sweep in several neighbourhoods.

Retired officer attacked

It also said it had killed a senior Boko Haram Islamist leader and arrested 156 suspected members of the group during a weekend raid in neighbouring Adamawa state.

A number of security personnel have been arrested over links to Boko Haram.

The arrests came after JTF soldiers in the northeastern city of Maiduguri arrested an immigration officer, Grema Mohammed, for allegedly being an active member of the sect, a military spokesperson had said.

Meanwhile, unknown gunmen shot and injured retired Colonel Mohammed Hama Barde late Saturday outside a mosque in Potiskum, in Yobe state, residents said.

The motive of the attack was unknown.