Operatives of the Joint Task Force on Sunday averted another major attack by terrorists in Kano by raiding their hideouts at Unguwa Uku area of the ancient city.
The operatives, acting on a tip off, were said to have raced to the area around 4am and intercepted a Volkswagen Golf, primed with explosives, which some terrorists had wanted to use and wreck havoc during the Easter celebration in the city.
Residents of the area said the soldiers thereafter invaded a compound housing the suspected terrorists but were greeted with explosions.They added that the operatives who were not deterred exchanged gunfire with the terrorists for about four hours.
The spokesperson of JTF in Kano, Ikedi Iweha, was quoted as saying that the task force killed 14 Boko Haram suspects in the raid.
One of the residents said it was unclear if most of the terrorists were killed by the Improvised Explosive Devices detonated by them or by the operatives.
He added that bodies were seen being carried out of one of the buildings in the compound raided by the operatives while 14 AK 47 rifles, 10 peak milk-size IEDs, four drums of 50- litre primed explosives and 51 other items in small drums were recovered.
The houses were thereafter demolished while the corpses were taken to a morgue.
Security operatives said that one of the terrorists’ top commanders whose name was not given was later arrested .
The Brigade Commander 3 motorised Brigade, Bukavu Barracks, Kano, Brig.-Gen.Iliyasu Abba, confirmed the incident.
“My men on search operations in the wee hours of this(Sunday) morning at Layin Yan’awaki, Ungwa –Uku general area suddenly came under fire from terrorists that triggered a gunfire,” he said while conducting journalists round the scene.
“It was an opportunity to demonstrate our superior fire power, and the gallant officers and men gave a good account of themselves but unfortuanately we lost one of our soldiers and another one was injured.”
As of 4pm on Sunday, the area was still cordoned off by security operatives.
Many panic-stricken Christians could not summon courage to attend Easter service in their churches despite the high presence of security operatives in the metropolis
Churches like Our Lady of Fatima, St Louis, St Thomases’, St Stephen’s, St
Georges and Holy Trinity had low turn out of worshippers while those in Hotoro, Mariri and Badawa areas did not open.
Before the raid, JTF operatives and policemen had been deployed in strategic locations in the city. Armoured Personnel Carriers were also seen patrolling the flash points.
In Jos, Plateau State, the much-advertised rally to mark the end of the Easter festivities did not hold as church leaders advised their followers to go back to their homes and celebrate quietly.
Many of them had gathered in front of the headquarters of the Church Of Christ In Nigeria to begin the procession that would have terminated at the Rwang Pam Stadium when they were given the advice.
The rally, which was organised by the state branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria, was abandoned after the police warned against it.
There had been clashes in the suburbs of the city , which had necessitated a high security alert.
However, in his Sunday Easter message at the Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, urged Christians not to see the end of the Lenten period as a time to go back to their old ways, but to continue to allow the spirit of Christ to be in them.
He admonished them to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness, which the period signifies.
“All the troubles we have in Nigeria is because we have not allowed the spirit of Christ to take charge of our lives. Therefore, as we celebrate Easter, we should look up at that Cross of Calvary, where Christ hung more than 2,000 years ago and reflect on the essence of that sacrifice,” the cleric said.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Chris Olakpe, has called on warring parties to shun hatred and to come out for genuine dialogue in order to curb the growing insecurity in the state.
Olakpe stated this on Sunday in Jos when Isoko people living in Jos hosted him.
Earlier,the President of Isoko Development Union in Plateau State, Mr. Ezekiel Udubrae, had said the Isoko would avail the commissioner with any information that would enable him succeed in the state.
Culled From: PUNCH