Several explosives and gun battle, on Monday evening, against security operatives in Borno State, by Boko Haram insurgents, led to the death of 24 insurgents, the Joint Task Force has said.
The spokesperson of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in Maiduguri, Sagir Musa, stated this in a statement on Tuesday.
“Boko Haram terrorists launched attacks with rocket propelled grenades, improvised explosive devices and gun fire at different locations of JTF in Zannari ward and Lagos street along Gwange general area” Mr. Musa said.
He said “the attackers used civilian residences, and homes as launching areas for the attacks at different times of the night of monday 15th october, 2012”.
Mr. Musa said all the attacks were repelled by security forces, and “24 Boko Haram members were killed,” while “there was no civilian casualty, but one soldier was wounded.”
However, some residents of Maiduguri said many residents took their loved ones to the hospitals with several gunshot wounds after the attack; while the Gwange cemetery was unusually busy, Tuesday, as many residents prefer to quietly bury their dead than report to the authorities who often deny them the corpses of their loved ones.
A staff of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital claimed that when he arrived for duty, Tuesday morning, he saw corpses of uniformed men and civilians. He however could not give a specific number of the dead and the wounded. Another resident claimed that at least 20 civilians were killed in the encounter.
Mr. Musa also said various arms and ammunition were recovered after the encounter. The recovered items include: “1xRPG tube, 4 RPG charges, 1 General Purpose Machine Gun, 7 AK 47 rifles, 1 FNC rifle, 24 assorted empty magazines, 950 assorted ammunitions, 2 pistols, large quantity of assorted IED materials and several bows, arrows and cutlasses.”
He said things have returned to normal in Maiduguri, since the early hours of Tuesday, as people were seen going about their normal businesses.
Mr. Musa, however, warned residents of Borno to “desist from allowing their homes to be used as launching pads for attacks on troops and civilians as such action would be dealt with appropriately.”