Maiduguri — The 10-day peace enjoyed by residents of the troubled city of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, was shattered, Thursday, as unknown gunmen went on the rampage, killing a prominent businessman and seven others.
This came as the Joint Task Force, JTF, in Kaduna, said yesterday that it raided and demolished a building suspected to be bomb making factory in Rigasa suburb of Kaduna killing five suspected terrorists.
The attacks were reportedly carried out simultanously in several areas by different groups of young men, armed with assault rifles and other dangerous weapons.
Sources told Vanguard that a popular oil and gas merchant, Alhaji Abubakar Girigiri Gashua, 68, polularly known as A.A Girigiri Gashua, was reportedly killed by two gunmen at about 4.30pm when the assailants raided the Bolori Stores along Baga road.
The area has a large number of warehouses for consumer goods. Girigiri hailed from Gashua Local Government Area of Yobe State, but settled in Maiduguri, upon esatblishing his business empire there.
According to the sources, the attackers reportedly walked into the area and met the deceased seated in front of his warehouse, pretending to be one of the customers. However, upon approaching the man, they instantly fired at him, killing him on the spot.
The invaders reportedly fired several warning shots into the air before fleeing the scene, even as the area was deserted.
However, soon after the incident, all roads leading to the area were cordoned off by dozens of heavily armed soldiers just as another set of gunmen invaded a compound in Gamborou ward and killed seven other persons in the evening.
The attackers were said to have held the victims at gun point, before using sharp objects to slit their throats.
Spokesman of the Joint Task Force, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, confirmed the killing of only three persons, and declined comments on the murder of the businessman.
Meanwhile, the Borno State Police Command has confirmed the murder of the businessman.
The command's spokesman, DSP Gideon Jibril, confirmed the incident to newsmen last night, saying it was not yet clear if Gashua was killed by insurgents as those behind the act were still unknown.
According to Jubril, efforts were being made to arrest the fleeing assailants just as he asked residents to furnish security agencies with useful information on the hide-outs of suspected insurgents and other criminals in their midst.
As JTF kills 5 suspected terrorists,demolishes bomb factory in Kaduna
The spokesperson of One Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Colonel Sani Usman, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in a statement added that two other suspects were injured in the raid.
According to him, "security agencies carried out a cordon and search operation at Rigasa in Kaduna North Local Government area and discovered a bomb making factory at a house located off Makarfi Road. On approaching the factory, some suspected terrorists opened fire and also threw already primed IED at the troops." He explained that the exchange of fire that ensued resulted in the death of five suspected terrorists, while two of them that sustained various degrees of injuries are being treated.
"In line with our resolve to deter terrorists, the building housing the factory was demolished,", he said.
Col Usman also said that the operation followed a tip-off from well meaning citizens. He commended their courage and reiterated the 1 Division's commitment to fighting terrorism.
He equally assured that the actions of the Army and 1 Division in particular were aimed at ensuring peace and securing the lives and property of law abiding citizens of the state, urging the public to always report suspicious movement to relevant authorities.
The spokesperson listed some of the items recovered in the raid to include 5 Mark 4 Riffles, 3 Pump Action Riffles, 20 Rolls of Detonating Cords, 21 Nine Volts Batteries, 2 Remote Switches, 1 Testing Metre, 5 Assorted Daggers and Jack knives and other Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) materials.