By Emeka Mamah, NDAHI MARAMA, Maiduguri & Luka Binniyat with agency report
Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram sect members launched another attack yesterday in the peace loving Damasak, the headquarters of Mobbar Local Government Area of Borno State, killing two bakers, one of them an indegene of Michika Council area of Adamawa State; an Igbo man and two others suspected to be Immigration and Custom officers.
In another development, the Nigeria Army yesterday said it demolished a fourth bomb factory in Kaduna State, just as it arrested a 60-year old suspected owner of the factory in Zaria, Kaduna State. Damasak is a boarder town with Niger Republic and about 120 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the state capital.
The killing, Saturday Vanguard learnt came barely two weeks after Governor Kashim Shettima visited some communities in the area which were ravaged by flood, and almost 24 hours after one of their own who also hailed from Damasak, the Chief of Staff, Government House Maiduguri, Alhaji Abu Kyari paid the affected Communities a sympathy visit .
Saturday Vanguard gathered that the gunmen numbering about six came in a Jeep at about 7am yesterday and opened fire at their victims before they fled without being arrested.
When contacted on phone, the Police Commissioner, Mr. Abdullahi Yuguda could not be reached, but the Information Officer of the Council, Mallam Babagana Mustapha told Saturday Vanguard that, six gunmen suspected to be terrorists laid ambush at Damasak yesterday morning, killing two Michika boys, one Igbo man and two security men suspected to be an Immigration and Custom officers.
Reacting on the demolition of a bomb factory in Zaria, Assistant Army Public Relations Officer, 1st Division of the Nigeria Army, Kaduna, Col. Sani Usman said the raid was carried out by a combined team of the Army, Police and the State Security Service, SSS, adding that one Umaru Mohammed, 60 was arrested in connection with the factory.
This was even as Reuters quoted the leader of Nigeria’s Boko Haram as expressing solidarity with global Islamist fighters, saying the US and Britain “should witness that we are with our mujahideen brothers,” in a video posted Thursday, SITE monitoring group said.
According to SITE, a US-based organisation, Abubakar Shekau gave the speech in Arabic in a 39-minute video posted to jihadist forums. It was not clear when it was recorded.
”The world should witness, and America, Britain, Nigeria and other crusaders, meaning America and Britain, should witness, and the Jews of Israel who are killing the Muslims in Palestine should witness… that we are with our mujahideen brothers in the cause of Allah everywhere,” a translation by site said.
The video makes particular reference to global events, with Shekau saluting fighters in the Maghreb region of northern Africa, “the Islamic state in Mali,” Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and “our brothers and sheikhs in usurped Palestine.
”O Britain, America, Israel and Nigeria: Don’t think that jihad stops with the death of imams,” Shekau says, according to SITE. “Because imams are individuals. Jihad started now, jihad started now, O enemies of Allah.”
But Col Usman said, “following a tip-off from well meaning citizens of this country, a combined team of troops of the Nigerian Army, elements of the Nigeria Police Force and Department of State Security carried out a cordon and search operation at Kwanar Shahada, Jushin Ciki, Zaria city, Kaduna State yesterday, (Thursday) from 1.30am to 8.00am.
“During the operation, a two bedroom bungalow used as bomb making factory was discovered in which Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, in stage one state of readiness and several IED making components were also recovered.
Other weapons recovered include 17 Sensor Mechanical Timers, Remote control, 11 primed suicide bomber’s vests, 36 primed IEDS in Bobo cans and one military kitbag with support items like saw, hammer, cello tapes and gums. Others are, two gallons of paint containing prepared IEDS, two gallons of Turkey oil brand with prepared IEDs, seven rolls of wires of various lengths and one bag of containing several sensors as well as 25 ( nine – volts) batteries.
“This is the fourth of such successes in the past three months after the initial one in same Zaria, Rigassa and in Kadunamain town. The public can use these operational lines anytime 08066 7652 75 to give information to our operational team.
Both the suspect and the items recovered are under custody of the Headquarters 1 Division Nigerian Army. We would like to use this opportunity to commend the efforts of the well meaning citizens that reported the matter and also reiterate our resolve to fight terrorism in this country.