Maiduguri — Boko Haram militants, yesterday, launched series of coordinated attacks on Police, Army and Prison formations in Bama town, Borno State, leaving no fewer thatn 55 persons dead.
JTF spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, who conducted newsmen round the affected places in company of the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel AG Laka, confirmed that the dead include 22 policemen, 14 prison officials, 2 soldiers, 13 Boko Haram members, one woman who just got married to a police corporal and three children.
Places attacked by the gunmen numbering about 500 in Hilux Toyota vehicles, some of who wore military uniforms, include different police barracks, 202 Army Barracks in Bama Council area headquarters, Magistrate Court, Revenue office, Primary Healthcare Centre, and Local Government Secretariat.
In the course of the attack by the gunmen, 109 prison inmates were also set free.
Also set ablaze were the Divisional Police Headquarters and the offices of the DPO and that of the Area Commander.
Bama is about 70 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital and an epicentre of Boko Haram sect which had witnessed series of killings and bombings in recent time.
The incident which started at about 4am, yesterday threw the whole town into confusion, as the streets were deserted while only few Mobile policemen and some military men were seen on major streets when Vanguard correspondent visited the ghost town in the evening.
The security men at the prison office said that when the gunmen struck, all the prison officials hid in heaps of firewood at the back of the prison yard. However, the freed inmates gave them up before they were all killed by the insurgents.
How they struck
It was gathered that the gunmen first attacked the police barracks, and set them ablaze, killing some policemen, their wives and children in the attack. But when some of the sect members who were assigned to attack the 202 military barracks at the outskirts of Bama attempted to jump into the fence, the military men fired back and killed 13 of the suspects, while one of them, Bakura Ibrahim was arrested.
The Commanding Officer confirmed that the gunmen, after successfully attacking the different locations in Bama, attempted the Military barracks, but were repelled by the soldiers, where 13 of the attackers were killed while one of them was arrested. He added that arms and ammunition were equally recovered from the suspects, including several 4-litre jerrycans of water mixed with hard drugs. He added that his men succeeded in killing many of the suspects, but those who escaped picked up the corpses of their fallen colleagues on the streets and ran into the bush, heading towards Abbaram before attacking Banki a town bordering Cameroun Republic.