Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - A few hours after killing 35 suspected members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect during a 24-hour gun battle in Damaturu, capital of Yobe state, the Joint Task Force (JTF) has raided the main hide out of the suspected terrorists in Mubi, the commercial nerve centre of Adamawa State, arresting 156 suspected members.
Addressing newsmen shortly after inspecting the compound where the raid took place, the Commander of the 23rd Armored Brigade, Nigerian Army, Yola, Brigadier General John Nwaoga, hinted the operation was sequel to the recent clandestine activities and destruction of GSM masts in Mubi by the suspected terrorists.
Brigadier General Nwaoga, who was accompanied by the Adamawa Police Commissioner, Mr. Godffrey Okeke, and the State Director of SSS said the raid had really helped the military intelligence to unravel the mystery behind the protracted wave of shooting and bomb attacks in Mubi Town.
Among items recovered from the raid, code named Operation restore sanity” are ready to us improved explosive device, chemicals, arms and ammunitions, over 500 dagger knives, 9 AK47 assault riffles, locally made pistols, rocket launchers among others.
“Based on intelligence report, a combined team of the JTF isolated the area, cordoned it and made sure that innocent and law abiding citizens were not hurt," Brigadier General Nwaoga stated.
At the military base housing the FRSC training school Mubi, 156 suspects were arraigned, including six females and five children.
However, the Brigade Commander said the operating was “sweeping” and assured that those arrested would be decisively screened in other to free innocent ones.
He disclosed that a member of the notorious group was gunned down as they engaged the JTF in a gun duel before they were overpowered.
The JTF had said on Monday that it killed 35 suspected members of the sect after a 24-hour gun battle in Damaturu, capital of Yobe state.
JTF spokesperson in Yobe, Lazarus Eli, said the shootout occurred during a raid to smoke out “terrorist elements around Kandahar, Pawari and Pawari Cemetery areas'' of the city.
Mr. Eli confirmed that two JTF members sustained injuries from the gun fight, and that various weapons and ammunition were recovered during the raid.
The killing is the latest in a string of successes recorded by the military against Boko Haram in recent times, coming on the heels of the killing of two top commanders of the sect each in Maiduguri and Kano states, both in the north.
On Sunday, a suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber attacked a Catholic church in the eponymous capital of Bauchi state, killing three persons and injuring 46.
-0- PANA VAO 25Sept2012