22 March 2012

Nigeria: JTF Guns Down Nine in Kano

Kano — A police station, the residence of a divisional police officer and a nearby commercial bank in Tudun Wada town in Kano State were set on fire in a pre-dawn attack by gunmen yesterday.

No one was killed in the attack, Daily Trust learnt, but troops later shot dead nine men who they said were suspected of launching the attacks.

The three burnt places were along the major road that passes through the town, which is about 100km away from Kano.

Commander of the Kano 3 Motorized Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Iliyasu Abba, said nine of the 11 gunmen that carried out the attacks were killed in a gun duel with men of the Joint Security Task Force (JTF) who rushed to the area after receiving a distress calls.

Daily Trust learnt that the gunmen arrived in the area around 2am in three vehicles and they first attacked the official residence of the DPO who was said to have escaped unhurt.

After setting the DPO's home on fire they then stormed the nearby police station from where they took away weapons and police uniforms before setting the place on fire.

A nearby commercial bank was not spared by the gunmen. They were said to have forced themselves into it but they could not gain access to the bank's vault.

A resident of the area told Daily Trust that many lives would have been lost if the attacks were carried out in the broad day light as there could have been a shootout between the gunmen and security operatives.

Displaying the recovered weapons and other police working equipment as well as some dead bodies of the suspected gunmen before newsmen at Bukavu Barracks in Kano yesterday, Brigadier General Abba said the gunmen were "daring and ready for anything".

He said the JTF received a distress call at about 2am yesterday that gunmen were operating in Tudun Wada town.

He said not long after the distress call the task force swung into action and went to the area, saying the JTF men clashed with gunmen who were returning to Kano after the attacks. He said the gun duel lasted about five hours around the Falgore forest.

Abba said the security operatives succeeded when the gunmen exhausted their ammunition. The security operatives killed nine of them and captured two alive, he said.

The army commander also said from their understanding the gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members were running out of weapons and ammunition as well as money and so they attacked the police station and the bank to meet their needs.

Brigadier General Abba said the gunmen on their way back to Kano sandwiched the vehicle carrying the weapons they took away from the police station in a three-vehicle convoy.

On whether the gunmen were Nigerians or foreigners, the army commander said only investigation could find out.

He listed some of the items recovered to include two AK 47 riffles, two assault rifles, three pistols, one long riffle, 70 cans of teargas, seven pistol magazines, one cutlass, eight magazines carriers and three police shoes.

Others are three white shirts, two police uniforms, six improvised explosive devices, one laptop, three police jackets, 176 cartridges, 600 rounds of5.65mm ammunition, 169 rounds of mm special ammunition and 149 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

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