By SHEHU SANI

The  clash between the Borno State’s Security outfit, Operation Flush and Mohammed Yusuf’s Boko Haram  where  three of the sect’s members were killed sparked  off the ending ‘war’ between the Police and the sect.  Not long after Yusuf  was  also ‘taken out.’  Since then it has been battle royal between the two.  This summaries yesterday edition. Read on

DURING the raid on Wudil’shouse, explosive substances including fuel bottle, jack knife, dane gun, locally made pistol, arrows and charms were discovered.

According to the police command anti-bomb unit, a bag of yellow powdered substance discovered in the house contain 15percent charcoal, 25 percent potassium nitrate, 20 percent sulphur as is highly inflammable when ignited with fire.

Arrest were made. At the Bompai Police Headquarters, in Kano, a member of the Boko Haram arrested told a journalist that he was not disturbed by this present condition. “Allah be praised, we are simply passing a period of tribulation and I know that even if I die now, I would be hugely rewarded by Allah. They cannot stop us. We must propagate the message of Allah. Only sharia we believe and western education is a taboo”. He said as he groaned in pain.

The Maiduguri main battle

The Bomb Blast

A few hours after the Borno State Police Command paraded nine followers of Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf, with 74 locally made bomb shells in Biu local government area, that a locally made bomb exploded in the residence of another follower, blasting him to death, while his friend sustained severe injuries and was hospitalised at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

The follower, whose name was given as Hassan Sani Badamu from Biu was killed on (Friday July 20) night after the explosion occurred in his bedroom at his residence in Gwaindangari, behind Railway Quarters while he was with a friend, also a follower of Yusuf.

A guide book on bomb making was recovered from the blasted room. Commander of a joint military and police petrol team, tagged Operation Flush, Colonel Ben Ahanotu told newsmen.

Wife of the deceased, sect member, Zainab Dauda who was weeping while answering questions from newsmen said that she was in the kitchen preparing evening meal for her husband when she heard a loud explosion from the room and before she knew what was happening, her husband was lying in his own blood while his friend who was in the bedroom with the husband was rushed to the hospital by members of the Operation Flush who rushed to the scene.

Zainab who said she was pregnant as she held her four year old son, added that she had advisedher late husband to stay away from the sect as she had been told that the group carried weapons.

“I had always warned my husband to leave that group. I was told that they moved about with knives and because of my fear, I used to check my husband’s handbags which he used when he was going for activities of the sect, but every time, I checked, I only saw copies of the Holy Quran. I didn’t even know his friend was inside his room. I was in the kitchen”, Zainab said crying.

Commander of Operation Flush, Ben Ahanotu told journalists that they received intelligence report that the men were trying to fix something like a locally made bomb along with his friends, when it exploded and killed him. He said when security men arrived at the scene, the man was found dismembered and he gave up the ghost after he was taken to hospital.

Colonel Ahanotu said that some components for making local bombs were recovered from the scene. He said security men were working round the clock to guarantee peace and security of lives and properties in the state.

On Friday afternoon, the police had paraded more members of the sect in whose possession 74 empty home made bomb shells and bomb head were found. Other items found in the possession of the nine were three swords, three bags containing gun powder, 11 motorcycles filters, one tin of plastic filter, bottle of methanol, explosive acids, seven rubbers containers of sodium chemicals, an equipment for measuring chemicals, two screw drivers, and other components for making bombs.

The Maiduguri Battles

In Maiduguri, the sect members appeared to have grouped in batches and simultaneously attacked targets around the city at about 12.30a.m. They laid ambushed at the State Police Headquarters, sparking off a shoot out that lasted over three hours. 50 of the sect’s followers were killed and the others retreated.

In the various battles, at least eight police officers, two soldiers and three prison officers were reportedly killed, the new prison in the city was broken and prisoners freed, while homes of policemen and police stations were also set ablaze in an apparent fulfillment of the promises of retaliatatory attacks made by the sect’s leader, Sheikh Yusuf.

The sect members killed a police sergeant by the gate of the police headquarters, burnt nine residents of Mobile Police College trainees near the city and also killed four policemen undergoing promotion courses in the college.

They also killed the second-in-command officer of a mobile police unit whose name was given as Superintendent Usman Farouk.

Somewhere in the city, another batch of the sect’s members overpowered men of the Nigerian Prison and freed inmates. A team of the sect members also killed a policeman at the residence of the Commandant of the Mobile Police Training College. They also burnt Lamisula and Gamburu Police Stations in Maiduguri and vandalised properties. The sect member had a long exchange of fire with men of Operation Flush.

A similar attack was reportedly launched by the sect in Damasak Headquarters of Mobber local government area of the state and killed a policeman.

All activities were brought to a standstill in Maiduguri as fewer vehicles moved around amidst intense Stop and Search mounted by the police and the military. Communications were disrupted and telecoms installations in Maiduguri were attacked.

Later in the day, Governor Ali Modu Sheriff declared a dusk to dawn curfew in all parts of Maiduguri and Jere, a neighbouring local government area. The governor’s Director of Press, Usman Chiroma, said in a statement that the curfew was from 7.00pm to 6a.m and will continue until security situation improves.

Security Response

The next day, security forces raided the enclave of the radical Boko Haram sect in Maiduguri in an all act attempt to crush the group whose supporters ignited violence in five states in collaboration with more than 200 persons, including security personnel died.

The army moved in six light armoured war tanks and deployed hundreds of heavily armed soldiers and mobile policemen and regular policemen around Maiduguri to destroy the residents of the sect leaders, Yusuf, which also serve as the group’s headquarters.

The security forces also cordoned off Maiduguri, Galadima, Kasuwan Sharu and the low cost areas, which have been under the control of the sect members since Sunday night when the crises began.

The military action came a day after more than 150 people were killed in Borno, Yobe and Kano States in a gun battle between the sect’s followers and security forces. The offensive which started in Maiduguri was led by the GOC 3rd Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army, Jos, Major General Salah Maina, came on the order of President Umaru Yar’Adua, who said his administration would no longer tolerate any armed insurrections in any part of the country.

The military ordered residents to vacate the affected areas and as 5.30p.m, sounds of explosions were heard and thick smoke billowing into the sky.

Security source said the leader of the sect in Kano, was killed while he was about to enter Maiduguri to bring reinforcement to his members. Streets in Maiduguri were deserted as very few cars moved about. Residents were seen in fronts of their homes talking in small group.

The traditional Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said over 4000 persons took refuge at different military and police quarters. Assistant Zonal Coordinator of the Agency in the North East, Apollos Jedial said of the displaced residents, 3000 persons were taking refuge at the Maimalari Barracks, 600 were at the State Police Headquarters while 19 were at the Giwa military barracks.

He said the agency ordered release of relief materials mostly food items and beddings, which he handed over to the Borno State government for distribution to the victims.

Spokesman for the Borno Police Command, Isah Azare, confirmed that 90 of the rioters as well as eight police officers, three prison officials and two soldiers had been killed in the clashes with the security forces that Monday.

President Umaru Yar’Adua’s reactions

Speaking to newsmen at the Nnamdi Azekiwe International Airport, shortly before he jetted out to Brazil on a free day visit, Yar’ Adua said he had asked security agencies to deal squarely and promptly, with the leader of the Boko Haram, sect and end the crisis by yesterday evening.

The Arrest and Death ofMohammed Yusuf

The battle between security forces and followers of the Boko Haram sect came to an end with the killing of the leader of the group (yesterday, Thursday July 30) few hours after he was captured in Maiduguri. The police claimed that Mallam Mohamed Yusuf whose followers battled troops and policemen for five days in many states, was reportedly killed in a shoot out with security men, but a BBC reporter in Maiduguri said Yusuf was arrested and paraded before journalists with apparent signs of injuries.

“He has been killed. You can come and see his body at the state police command headquarters, spokesmen for the Borno State Police Command, Isa Azare told Reuters news agency.

The State Police Commissioner, Christopher Dega had earlier announced the capture of Yusuf and said he was being held at Giwa Barracks. Announcing the death of the late sect leader, Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 12, Mr. Moses Anagbode, said Yusuf was killed in a shoot out with security men yesterday in afternoon. Security sources told newsmen that the sect leader was arrested hiding among cattle inside his father inlaws home, situated around the sects bombed enclave, which was destroyed by the military and a counter insurgency operation. At 8.31 last night news Agencies flashed the story of the killing of Yusuf.

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