By Nadahi Marama
BAUCHI—Gunmen killed a policeman and wounded another in a raid on a police station in Bauchi State, a police officer said, yesterday.
The gunmen launched the attack late Saturday in the town of Itas, about 200 kilometres (130 miles) from the state capital Bauchi, hurling explosives into the police station and opening fire on policemen, leading to an hour-long shootout.
An officer, who asked not to be named, said: “The gunmen threw explosives into the police station, setting it on fire” and killing a police Inspector.
Another policeman was wounded in the shootout and two nearby police homes were burnt.
Bauchi State Police Commissioner, Mr. Mohammed Ladan, confirmed the attack but said he had no details yet.
It was not clear who was behind the incident, but Boko Haram has been blamed for series of attacks on police stations and banks in the area although criminal gangs have also carried out similar raids under the guise of the sect.
On Friday, gunmen killed three policemen and set ablaze three churches and a school in the town of Bonny Yadi in the volatile nearby state of Yobe, a military spokesman said.
Meanwhile, in Borno State violence continued with the Saturday targeting of traditional and religious leaders, and top government officials, as gunmen, suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect attacked the palace of a district head of Kangar, Alhaji Lawan Kangare.
He was shot dead in the presence of his wives and children. Kangare is the father of Mr. Isa Kangare, representing Guzamala/Kukawa/Abadam/Mobbar Federal Constituency in the National Assembly.
The Kangare district palace in Guzamala Local Government Area of Borno State is 242 kilometres North of Maiduguri, the state capital.
A resident of Kangare said the gunmen came in five unmarked vehicles and motorcycles at 7pm on Saturday, chanting “God is great” and started firing sporadically for 20 minutes to scare local residents.
He said they fired several shots on the head and chest of the District Head before his wives and children then fled towards Damasak the council headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area.
The eyewitness said: “We were caught unawares after the Magreb prayers at the palace, when some gunmen on motorcycles and vehicles, stormed our district head’s house and killed him before his wives and children.
“What have we done to these people to warrant the killing of our local leader?”
He said the assassination of the district head was politically-motivated, as no any other person was killed on that Saturday night.
He said the police and military outposts and places of worships were also not attacked or set ablaze by the gunmen.
The remains of Lawan Kangare have already been buried at Kangare/Gudumbali,
yesterday, according to Islamic rites, amidst tight security.
Bomb blast in Borno
Violence of attacks and killings continued in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, yesterday, when a bomb blast hit the Gambouru Cattle Market at 9.16am.
Yesterday’s blast, according to an eyewitness, and a butcher, Yakubu Isa, recorded no casualty, as the police rushed to the scene immediately.
Besides the blast, gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram members, launched another attack in Gwange ward on Saturday, killing a fridge repairer at his workshop at 3.15pm.
The attacks and killing, according to one of the Gwange residents, lasted for 15 minutes with sporadic gunshots in the ward, before men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, rushed to the scene to repel the gunmen.
The affected area, he said, had been condoned off by soldiers to prevent further attacks and killings.
Speaking on the blast, a JTF spokesman, in telephone chat, yesterday, said: “There was a blast this (yesterday) morning at the Kashuwan Shanu (cattle market) area of Maiduguri.
“The blast went off without causing any casualty. Our men are patrolling the Gambouru
ward and its environs to protect people’s lives and property. The area has since been condoned off to prevent further attacks by suspected terrorists.”