Gunmen yesterday attacked the Fika Emirate Council in Yobe State, killing a divisional police officer (DPO), Mohammed Garba, who was in charge of Fika Division, and four others in a gun battle that lasted several hours.
LEADERSHIP gathered that 13 other persons suspected to be terrorists were also killed during the exchange of fire between the men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the gunmen.
JTF spokesman, Lt. Eli Lazarus, confirmed the attack and killing of the DPO to journalists in Damaturu, the state capital, accusing Boko Haram sect members for the incident. He, however, revealed that the security agents killed some the assailants.
He said: "We repelled the attack and succeeded in killing 13 of the suspects. Three dead bodies of the suspects were recovered on the streets of Potiskum by the JTF, while some of the terrorists succeeded in carrying away 10 of the other dead bodies of their colleagues and escaped through the bush," he said.
He added that the JTF had already swung into action in effort to arrest the fleeing suspects, even as he stressed that the whole town had been cordoned off to prevent further attacks and killings.
However, an unconfirmed report said the suspected terrorists only made an attempt to attack the palace of the Emir of Fika, Alhaji Mohammed Idrissa Ibn Abale, but were repelled by men of the JTF stationed at the palace.
The branch office of a commercial bank, telecomm masts belonging to Etisalat, MTN and Airtel, and a police station in Pokistum were bombed by the gunmen, using improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Meanwhile, a mobile policeman was killed at Jol in Sho village of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State when some gunmen attacked the area.
Mark Lipdo, coordinator of a Jos-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), Stefanus Foundation, told LEADERSHIP that the gunmen went away with the policeman's gun.
He added that two other persons injured in the attack were currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.
Spokesman of the Special Task Force (STF), Operation Safe Haven, Captain Salisu Mustapher, who confirmed the killing to LEADERSHIP in Jos, the Plateau State capital yesterday, said two suspects had been arrested in connection with the killing and were presently undergoing interrogation.
He appealed to the people of the area to go about their lawful duties as the STF would not rest on its oars to bring the perpetrators of the heinous act to justice.