3 May 2014

Nigerian Military Debunks Maiduguri Attack

The Nigerian military on Saturday said there was no attack in Maiduguri in the early hours of Saturday.

The Director of Defence Information, Chris Olukolade, in a statement said troops at about 2 a.m. on Saturday launched a counter attack on a group of terrorists.

The terrorists, Mr. Olukolade said, had killed four people in Margimari Village and other settlements in the outskirts of Maiduguri.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how thunderous sounds were heard around the University of Maiduguri.

The sound had also kept students and staff on campus awake till dawn.

Mr. Olukolade however said, "there was no fighting or attack around the University or any barrack in Maiduguri either, as reported; thus indicating that the heavy explosions heard by students and staff of the University could have come from "mortar shells" fired by the Nigerian military during the counter attack.

The spokesperson also said a Chadian, Usman Mecheka, operating with the Boko Haram group around Lake Chad has been arrested by the Multi National Joint Task Force, MNJTF.

He said Mr. Mecheka was apprehended while trying to extract ransom from herdsmen and farmers in the area, after an earlier attack on the community.

Mr. Olukolade also said that the Plateau State Special Task Force has raided an armed gang's camp in Shendam Local Government Area of the state.

He said a gun fabricating machine, some arms, local single barrel guns, pistols, an automatic rifle, bullet pellets, ammunition and a large quantity of materials for producing gun powder were recovered from the hideout.

The raid, he said, yielded vital details to track down the operators of the gun fabricating hideout who he said are now on the run.

He said that the area is also being combed in the search for similar criminal outfits.

Mr. Olukolade also said that troops in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State successfully repelled an attack by some cattle rustlers who invaded Tanabu community.

He said the attack left one of the cattle rustlers dead while others fled when they were overpowered by the troops.

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