The police on Thursday admitted the loss of an inspector following a raid on a hideout of suspected terrorists in Kaduna State Wednesday.
Chief police spokesperson Frank Mba said Thursday night that Muhammed Abubakar, a member of the elite police special forces, was the only casualty recorded in the dawn raid that left at least 250 suspected criminals dead.
The police said those killed included members of outlawed Ansaru sect, bandits and other criminals supposedly using Kuduru forests as a hideout.
Mr Mba’s statement came a day after he told PREMIUM TIMES that no officer was killed.
He also said that two officers who were in a police chopper that was allegedly shot down by the suspected terrorists only sustained minor, non-life-threatening injuries.
But on Thursday evening, amidst raging suspicion that the police account of the operation left more questions than it answered, Mr Mba said the police lost a dedicated inspector.
He also provided names of two suspects out of the over 250 he said were “neutralised” during the raid on Wednesday morning.
Haruna Basullube, a suspected cattle thief, and Bashir Leta, a suspected bandit, were the only two “high-profile” deaths named by the police on Thursday night.
Two other suspects, Mallam Abba, labeled as a Boko Haram commander in Kuduru Forest, and another man named only as ‘Mofa’, sustained injuries.
Mr Mba did not immediately return a request seeking clarification on whether Messrs Abba and Mofa were arrested after being “critically injured.”
Mr Mba said officers recovered 11 AK47 rifles with 730 bullets and other munitions. Thirteen pairs of military fatigues, two cartons and 48 sachet of contraband tramadol, masks, phones and other items were also collected from the scene.
Mr Abubakar was hailed as one of the finest officers in the special forces, “with vast training and operational background, both at home and abroad.”
Born on July 8, 1985, he enlisted into the Nigeria Police on June 1, 2008 as a constable, becoming an inspector before his untimely death in action. He received training in Belarus and once participated in combat against Boko Haram, police said.
Mr Mba said the police leadership consoled with the officer’s family, friends and professional colleagues.