21 killed in fierce Maiduguri gun battle, JTF says

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau

Twenty members of the extremist Boko Haram sect were killed in the prolonged gun battle that rocked Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, Sunday. A soldier was also felled in the shootout.

Victor Ebhalema, an official of the Joint Task Force, the interagency unit in charge of security in most of the northern states, told PREMIUM TIMES via telephone, that his team was able to overwhelm the insurgents, killing 20 of them and injuring a few others.

Mr. Ebhalema, who is Field Operations Officer of the JTF in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, also said one soldier was killed while two others were injured in the operation.

 He said, “We got intelligence report that some suspected Boko Haram terrorist were having a  meeting at a particular location in the metropolis. While we approach  the venue of their meeting point, the terrorist opened fire on the JTF which led to the killing of 20 of them  while we lost one soldier and two others sustained injury.”

PREMIUM TIMES had reported earlier today that gunmen, believed to members of the Boko Haram sect had, in a separate attack, launched a massive attack on Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, opening fire on security operatives who had entered their stronghold for patrol.

The State’s Commissioner of Police, Patrick Egbuniwe, confirmed the shootout, Sunday,  describing it as “usual.”

“Gunmen as usual, have engaged our security operatives in a shootout,” he said.

Following the regular attacks on the city, many residents have deserted the streets of Damaturu for safety.

Damaturu is a major epicentre of Boko Haram attacks. Six soldiers and one civilian were killed on August 5, in a suicide bomb attack, along Gashua road in Damaturu.

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