Thursday, 23 May 2013
Boko Haram Ambush Kills 5 JTF, Setting Off Revenge Rampage By Nigerian Troops Against Civilians
Suspected members of Boko Haram ambushed and killed 5 members of the Joint Task Force (JTF) on Saturday as troops were moving in on a gathering of suspected sect members at a wedding in Maiduguri. The troops were acting on intelligence from the JTF in Kano, but they were ambushed before they could reach the wedding.
The sect reportedly uses weddings as a way of sharing intelligence and distributing weapons and cash for its operations in Maiduguri and Yobe state.
A JTF source said their work was hampered by the crippling of telecom networks in the area as the militant sect has mostly destroyed telecom masts in many northern states where they are active.
The killing of the five JTF operatives is being avenged by the Nigerian JTF which sometimes acts like "vigilante squad". The JTF is made up of secret police and armed soldiers. Residents in Gwange ward said the JTF has been attacking their homes and killing people labeled as sect sympathizers indiscriminately.
SaharaReporters contacted Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, a JTF spokesperson in the city, but he claimed to be out of the area and lacked enough information to comment on the current situation in the troubled city.
The JTF recently claimed it killed several commanders of the islamic sect in Kano, Maiduguri and Yobe states. That appears to have infuriated the sect and led to several revenge attacks in recent days.