29 November 2012

Nigeria: Soldier, Insurgents Killed in Maiduguri

Maiduguri — A soldier and an immigration officer as well as three suspected Boko Haram insurgents were killed in crossfire in Maiduguri on Tuesday even as over 30 suspects have been arrested, military authorities said.

But residents of Bulabulin Ngarnam, a red spot settlement in the eastern outskirt of Maiduguri where the battle between security forces and suspected insurgents took place said the casualty figure on both sides was much higher.

They added that many civilians were also killed during the clash. Joint Task Force (JTF) spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa said in a text message yesterday that the security operatives acted on information and raided a suspected hideout around 12.30pm on Tuesday.

"A cordon and search operation was conducted at Bulabulin Ngarnam. In an exchange of gunfire, one soldier was killed, one injured and one immigration personnel missing in action. Three Boko Haram terrorists were killed and 31 suspects arrested," Musa said.

He said one Ak47 rifle, one G3 rifle and assorted magazines and ammunition were recovered.

A resident who spoke by phone said when he peeped through a widow in his house, he saw over 20 dead bodies on the ground. "The whole settlement was cordoned off for over five hours and turned into a battle ground," he said.

Another resident said during the military operation, more than 40 people have been arrested by military operatives who besieged the area with armoured tanks and sophisticated guns.

Elsewhere in Ran, the headquarters of Kala Balge local government area of Borno State, locals said at least 10 people, including five policemen and five civilians were killed when suspected members of the Boko Haram attacked the border town in the early hours of Tuesday.

Though there was no official communication on the incident from both the JTF and the police, people in Ran said gunmen on motorcycles had attacked the Divisional Police Station in the area with explosives.

It was gathered that a completed boarding primary school, council lodge and the chairman of Kala Balge's official residence as well as telecommunication masts were razed down by the attackers who attacked around 2am. Ran is 292 kilometers North of Maiduguri.

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