BY NDAHI MARAMA & DEMOLA AKINYEMI
MAIDUGURI- Islamic sect, Boko Haram yesterday killed three traders at Maiduguri International Market and Timber Market on Baga Road, bringing the number of those killed within 48 hours in the area to six. On Sunday there was an explosion on the same road which claimed two lives while an Igbo butcher was also shot dead in broad daylight at the market.
Following the latest killing by the sect, the market has been shut indefinitely.
It was gathered that the market, which attracts traders from neighbouring countries like Niger, Chad and Cameroun Republic, has now become a target of attacks from the sect following what the sect considered Governor Kashim’s provocative statement when he declared in an interview he granted Associated Press last week that the worst was over after a top commander of the sect was arrested by security agents.
Those who were killed yesterday were Mallam Tumba Michika, a tea seller; a patent medicine seller and another passer by. They were killed at the teashop by two suspected Boko Haram gunmen with Kalashnikov rifle hidden under their flowing robes.
The state Commissioner of Police, Chief Simeon Midenda confirmed the killing to newsmen on Monday, saying, “I have received reports of the multiple attacks and killings this afternoon, where a tea seller, Mallam Tumba Michika was serving customers in the morning, when suspected Boko Haram gunmen fired several shots at his chest and head, while a passer by was also shot dead.
“The other report I received was the killing of a patent medicine seller in the same Zajiri ward last night, where the same number of suspects attacked the patent medicine store and killed the proprietor, without snatching any of the day’s sales from the cash register.”
Spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Lt. Col Hassan Mohammed who was contacted on phone said: “We just received reports of the attacks and killings this afternoon. Our men and officers have rushed to the affected area to ascertain whether or not there are casualties from the serial attacks and shootings by the suspected gunmen that attacked one of our patrol vehicles on Independence Anniversary Day on Saturday.”
Khadi of Sharia Court of Appeal escapes death
Meanwhile, a khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal in Ilorin, Kwara State, Saliu Mohammed narrowly escaped death Sunday night following gun attack by yet to be identified gunmen.
The victim has reportedly been admitted at an undisclosed hospital in the town where he was said to be responding to treatment.
Vanguard reliably gathered that the gunmen invaded the residence of the judge at Fate Road of the Government Reservation Area (GRA) in the town at about 8:pm where they allegedly attacked him in the presence of some of his family members. The gunmen, after the attack left before the arrival of security operatives.
A neighbor who craved anonymity in an interview with Vanguard described the attack as curious because the gunmen attacked only the residence of the judge among other residential buildings in the area.
The attack has thrown the entire GRA into pandemonium, as some residents were said to have relocated from the area temporarily. Some landlords have therefore pleaded with the governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed and the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Peter Gana, to beef up security in the area.
The gunmen were said to had shot the khadi on his thigh and hands indicating that the intention was not to kill him. It could not be ascertained yet if the victim’s attackers took away any valuable when they left the residence.
Contacted, Spokesman of Kwara State Police command, Dabo Ezekiel confirmed the attack, saying that they were still investigating. “We are aware and are presently investigating. No arrest has been made yet”, Ezekiel said.