In what appeared to be a major victory against the Boko Haram sect, the Joint Military Task Force confirmed, yesterday, that the sect’s spokesman, Abu Qaqa, has been killed, while two other members were arrested after a shootout between the sect and security operatives. There were, however, different accounts on how the encounter took place.
According to one account, quoting an official of the task force, the shooting occurred yesterday morning in Mariri, a town southeast of Kano, where soldiers stopped a vehicle with the sect spokesman, the commander, the spokesman’s wife and their children, the official said. It was not clear what happened next, though the official said soldiers shot dead both the commander and the spokesman. The wife and children remain in military custody. The wife told soldiers the men had accompanied her to Kano as she sought medical help.
A different account said a team of the Joint Military Task Force stormed the hideout of the sect in Hotoro area of Kano municipal where one of the commanders of the sect was killed, while two other members were arrested during the combat operation.
The military action followed intelligence report indicating the presence of high profile sect members, who had been on the wanted list of security agents in the area.
The JTF have refused to give exact details of the identity of the sect member who were killed, understandably because it was a military intelligence operation, but the JTF spokesman in the city, Lt. Ikediche Iweha told Vanguard on phone that “we carried out a raid this morning (Saturday) around Hotoro general area where we killed a member of a terrorist group and arrested two during the operation.”
Yesterday’s combat operation came on the heels of a devastating attack by yet to be identified gunmen at Hotoro area where a member of National Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC) was killed with his entire family.
There were also other shootings by unknown gunmen in Yobe, Bauchi and Maiduguri over the weekend, leaving a total of five persons dead and seven injured, including a Business man and a top ANPP stakeholder in Yobe State, Alhaji Mustapha Sheriff Mashidimami.