No fewer than 20 people were feared killed when suspected Boko Haram members in separate attacks laid ambush to Gajiram, headquarters of the Nganzai Local Government, and Bulabulin Ngawra village in the Konduga Local Government area of Borno State on Thursday.
Several others also sustained injuries.
The Nganzai Local Government secretariat complex, two primary schools, a clinic and some residential houses were also set ablaze by the attackers.
Nganzai is about 73 kilometres while Bullabulin Ngawra is 45 kilometres away from Maiduguri, the state capital.
Both council areas are linked and have boarders with the terrorists’ camps of Marte and Sambiza Forests.
The camps were acclaimed to have been destroyed by Joint Task Force (JTF) at the peak of the emergency rule declared in May by the Federal Government.
It was gathered that some terror suspects numbering over 40 fully armed with Ak 47 rifles ambushed Gajiram town on Thursday morning and killed 15 residents, set some public and residential buildings ablaze before they were repelled by the combined efforts of the vigilante youths and men of the JTF.
It was also gathered that Borno State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Kaka Shehu Lawan, has gone to Gajiram headquarters of Gajiram to commiserate with the residents.
The actual number of casualties could not be officially ascertained at press time on Thursday.
Governor Kashim Shettima and his deputy, Zanna
Umar Mustapha, were out of Maiduguri for an official assignment in Abuja on Thursday.
Also, the Maiduguri-Dambao-Biu road which was reopened two weeks ago after its closure by the JTF came under siege by some terror suspects who mounted a road-block on Thursday few metres away from Bullabulin Ngawra village.
The bandits reportedly shot and killed five people.
An eyewitness, Aisami Babagana from Bulabilin Ngawra told our correspondent that “the Boko Haram sect members attacked Bullabulin Ngawra in the early hours of today (Thursday) and killed five people.
“I believe that they attacked us because of how our volunteers have succeeded in curtailing their atrocities in our area.”
In a related development, six suspected members of the Islamic sect, including their commander (name withheld), have been arrested by the combined efforts of the military operatives and the vigilante youths in Maiduguri, the state capital.
It was gathered that the arrested commander of the sect was in charge of Sulimanti Ward where he equally led his members to a deadly attack early this year on a bakery in Sulimanti where six workers were slaughtered.
A source explained the sect’s commander was arrested in the Konguga local council area on Tuesday, and that after interrogation, he pleaded with the JTF to allow him come to Maiduguri and expose some of his collaborators.
It was also learnt that when the suspect was taken to Sulimanti Ward, he was able to fish out five of his collaborators and handed them over to security forces.
Speaking, JTF spokesman, Sagir Musa, a Lt. Col., told newsmen in Maiduguri that he was not aware of the incidents, but promised to send statement on the development after compiling his report.
In a related development, no fewer than eight condemned criminals have escaped from Daura Prison in Katsina State after they broke out of their cell.
Daily Independent gathered that the escapee criminals capitalised on heavy down pour in the area on Tuesday night to perfect their escape.
A dependable source said the condemned criminals may have been working on their escape plan before then, as they dug an undergroundtunnel from where they escaped.
It was also gathered that all efforts to re-arrest the runaway criminals failed.
Our correspondent who visited the Katsina Prison Command met a Deputy Comptroller who insisted the Public Relations Officer had an accident while the Comptroller was away on official assignment.
“I was not authorised to speak. You know everybody has his own limitations and therefore it is not my mandate to speak,” the Deputy Comptroller said.
Another source told our correspondent that the case has been taken over by the headquarters of the command.
The source explained that some prison wardens were arrested in connection with the escape.
Meanwhile, security has been tightened at all prisons in Katsina to avoid recurrence.
Another report on Thursday said an officer with the Katsina Command of the Customs Service, Mr. Apollo, has been critically wounded from gunshots when a riffle he was carrying allegedly went off.
Our correspondent gathered that the incident occurred on Wednesday evening when the wounded officer on patrol with his colleagues allegedly mishandled the gun.
A source close to the Customs command told our correspondent that “the officer was badly injured as the bullet hit him on the knee. In fact his knee was ripped open.”
When contacted on phone, Katsina Customs Command spokesman, Muhammad Giade, confirmed the incident but dispelled the rumour that the affected officer attempted a suicide.
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