JSTF troops on the streets of Maiduguri, N.E Nigeria
Published on Thursday, 04 July 2013
Operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) yesterday gunned down three suspected Boko Haram members who disguised as women while 20 others who also dressed like women were arrested while attempting to attack the Ibrahim Taiwo Police Station along Baga road.
Witnesses said over 20 men, clad in Hijab (flowing cloth and veil, popular among Muslim women) and Abaya (a long robe also popular among women in Borno) were arrested around the Police station. A security source said the incident happened around 2pm, adding that all the suspects had AK47 rifles and Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) concealed beneath their clothes.
The source said the attempted attack was repelled because a combined team of soldiers, policemen and SSS were keeping watch at the station which is directly facing the Baga Market.
Besides,there was serious fight at Jajeri area of Maiduguri yesterday when suspected Boko Haram members detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in order to scare away dozens of youth of the vigilante groups, popularly known as ‘Civilian JTF’ who stormed the area in order to rid it of insurgents.
Witnesses said the sound of the blast which rattled the people in nearby settlements as well as the sporadic gunshots by the insurgents did not deter the surging youth from advancing into the area seen as “safe abode” for suspected Boko Haram members in the last four years.
Sabiu Buba,a technician along Baga road said trouble started around 1.15pm when the youth, carrying daggers, sticks and ropes mobilized themselves and moved into the area “while many traders at the Baga market and shop owners on the highway were scampering for safety, the volunteer youths were not deterred, they only took cover for a while and thereafter stormed the red spot,” Buba said.
Helen Musa, a food vendor told our correspondent that she saw when operatives of the Joint Task Force, (JTF) lent a helping hand to the “civilian JTF.”
Soon after the incident, the “civilian JTF” took over the Baga Road and carried out stop and search operation. A top security source confirmed that there was blast at Jajeri but neither the vigilante members nor any security personnel was injured.
He described the turn of events in Maiduguri as ‘fruitful and rewarding’ adding that military personnel are giving the youth groups sense of direction in order to reduce risk.