6 die as JTF, gunmen clash in Maiduguri
BY NDAHI MARAMA
Maiduguri — Six persons were killed, yesterday, inMaiduguri in two separate incidents as gunmen attacked the city’s largest market while suspected members of Boko Haram also clashed with a team of Joint Task Force
At least four traders were shot dead while two others seriously injured when gunmen attacked Monday market inMaiduguri.
The attack came barely 24 hours after President Jonathan lifted the state of emergency earlier imposed in some parts of the state and the subsequent relaxation of the curfew by two hours.
The incident, which happened at about noon, forced many traders who were at the peak of their pre-Ramadan shopping to flee the market.
General Manager of Monday Market,Maiduguri, Alhaji Ajiya Terrab, confirmed the incident to newsmen on phone, saying: “Some gunmen actually attacked the market and killed four traders and injured two others.”
Witnesses said following the attack on the shops outside the market, the management of the market had to lock up the six main entrances, forcing traders to remain indoors for hours, until it was later opened.
Also, men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, yesterday clashed with gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect in Gambouru ward ofMaidugurimetropolis inBornoState, killing two persons.
An eyewitness said the clash occurred when suspected gunmen attacked one of the military patrol vehicles near Kofa Biyu onSir Kashim Ibrahim Way.
He said: “We had to run for our dear lives, as the shootings between soldiers and gunmen came from all directions. I cannot tell you whether some people were killed in the shoot-outs, but some of us ran into our houses for fear of being killed by stray bullets.”
An attendant at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Unit of theUniversityofMaiduguri Teaching Hospital, UMTH, said two bodies of civilians were brought into the hospital by the JTF van.
The attendant in a text message to newsmen said: “Two men in personal dress were brought in dead at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit of Teaching Hospital by a JTF van at about noon Thursday.”
Speaking on yesterday’s clash, spokesman of JTF, Lt. Col Sagir Musa, said: “I am not aware of the shootouts between us and suspected gunmen. But I will investigate to confirm the shootouts, before reaching you if there were casualties.”
Confirming the incident, the Borno State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr Gideon Jibrin, said there was a clash between men of the JTF and suspected gunmen in Gombouru ward ofMaiduguri, yesterday, where some civilians were injured by stray bullets.
He said the Police Area Commander of Gambouru ward, was yet to send his report on the incident to the headquarters for further investigations.