Five explosions rocked the beleaguered townships of Damaturu and Potiskum in Yobe State today as combined teams of the Nigerian police and army engaged Boko Haram militants in sustained firefights overnight.
Meanwhile Saharareporters has confirmed today that two senior police officers and 13 others were killed in the attacks that started yesterday. Yet unconfirmed reports also disclosed that 10 soldiers were also killed by the Islamist militants. Among the casualties on the police side were Ibrahim Abubakar, the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of operations, and the squadron commander of the mobile police unit 41 a superintendent of police (SP) whose name was simply given as Kabir. Both men died at the hands of the militants.
Fierce but sporadic fighting started yesterday in the Northeastern cities of Maiduguri, Damaturu and Potiskum as Boko Haram militants engaged in bombing and shootouts with the police.
Yobe State Police Commissioner Lawan Tanko told SaharaReporters earlier today that the police had started trailing the heavily armed militants, but that his forces were yet to capture any of the sect’s terrorists responsible for detonating bombs across the state.
A senior security source in Yobe told Saharareporters that Boko Haram fighters had recently received a huge cache of weapons suspected to have come from Libya.
The source also confirmed that, that even though the police and the army are on red alert, they had so far not captured any member of the Boko Haram sect.
The security source claimed that normalcy had returned to the state, and that security agencies are systematically combing all suspected hideouts of the sect.
He said he was not in a position to give the number of those killed or injured in the latest attacks. “We are focusing on the challenge of overcoming the situation and warding off further attacks. We will be gathering reports later,” he said.
Our source said all police formations had been briefed and were combat-ready to forestall further attacks.