The Joint Task Fork Force (JTF) in Yobe State has killed four suspected members of Boko Haram, while one policeman attached to the JTF lost his life in the gun duel yesterday in Potiskum.
An online media, The Premium Times quoted the spokesperson of the JTF, Lt. Eli Lazarus, as saying in a statement that a soldier was injured.
He said: "At about 2p.m. on December 29, 2012, men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Restore Order III Yobe State on cordon and search operation in Yandiski area of Potiskum had an encounter with suspected terrorists. Four of the suspected terrorists were killed in the encounter. One policeman attached to the JTF lost his life and a soldier sustained injuries.
"Four AK 47 rifles, one double barrelled gun, 16 magazines and 380 rounds of ammunition were recovered. Other items recovered are: two gas cylinders and several Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) making materials. Fifty nine persons were arrested during the operation for interrogation.
"JTF urges all law abiding people of Yobe State to go about their lawful activities and support the Task Force through the provision of relevant and timely information that will assist in ridding the State of terrorist activities."
President Goodluck Jonathan had at a church service at the Ekklisiyar Yaruwa a Nigeria (EYN- Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), Utako, in Abuja, reiterated the determination of his administration to effectively curtail terrorist attacks by Boko Haram, which has killed about 3,000 people since 2009.
The president told the congregation that the Federal Government has not only changed its strategy on the anti-terror war, it has also come up with fresh measures to curtail attacks by the Islamic sect.
"Boko Haram planned to carry out a lot of attacks on Christmas Day, but we suppressed their plans during the Christmas holiday and most of their plans were not executed because of the strategies put in place by the security agencies, which aborted their efforts.
"Although we still recorded some incidents, but the extent of attacks which they had planned, we did not allow them to execute them.
"Boko Haram will not push us backwards. If their plans were to stop government from providing the dividends of democracy, they would not succeed because 2013 will be a good year for Nigerians and Nigeria. With your persistent prayer we shall defeat them," he said.
The military also decried the lack of resistance of the people of Maiduguri and its environs in Borno State to the activities of the Boko Haram sect, which has allowed their atrocities to continue unabated.
The military said the attitude of the people of the area could not be compared to other parts of the North where the sect's activities have either been extinguished or minimised.
He claimed that: "In an effort to contain crime and criminality, some communities in Nigeria have since devised neighbourhood surveillance and alarm system and other resistance measures to assist themselves and security agencies in combating insecurity in their respective areas."
Similarly, members of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), based in the United States of America also sent a written petition to the White House and President Barack Obama lamenting the continued killing of innocent Christian worshippers in the northern parts of Nigeria.