JTF denies soldiers kidnap in Yobe, says troops repelled insurgents

The military said the aircraft hovering over Damaturu was on a routine surveillance.

The Joint Task Force in Yobe has said that no soldier was kidnapped by insurgents in the state.

The spokesperson of the Yobe JTF, Eli Lazarus, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, said there was no attack in Potiskum late on Thursday.

“However, in the early hours of Friday 28 June, 2013, suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked a JTF checkpoint located in Dogon-Kukah village in Fune Local Government Area of Yobe State.

“The insurgents took away a Police Hilux van which was conveying items meant for use by the service. None of the JTF soldiers involved in the encounter was abducted by any terrorist group, else the terrorists would be the first to tell such a story to the world,” Mr. Lazarus said.

“Troops were sent out to reinforce the checkpoint. Consequently, a pursuit was conducted to trail the fleeing terrorists. Men of the JTF trailed the insurgents and recovered the stolen Police vehicle, the items contained therein, one of the terrorist’s hilux vehicles, arms and ammunitions amongst several other items,” he added.

A military source had told PREMIUM TIMES that three soldiers were kidnapped and one killed in the attack in Potiskum and that a major search including the deployment of aircraft from Borno was used to search for the soldiers.

Mr. Lazarus, however, said that “on the issue of the aircraft noticed hovering in the skies of the state capital, Damaturu, it was on a routine aerial surveillance.”

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