Five policemen, 32 others killed in Borno, Benue attacks

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar

Ten persons were killed in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital on Tuesday, when two suicide bombers rammed their cars into a police patrol vehicle.

Also, 27 people were reportedly killed on Tuesday in Benue State after a brutal attack which took place in Agena Village in Gwer-East Local Government Area of the state. The attack was attributed to a suspected herdsmen’s militia group which had been linked to a series of attacks in the state over the past two years.

Those killed in the Maiduguri incident that happened at about 9am included five policemen, three civilians and the two suicide bombers that drove two Volkswagen Golf cars that rammed simultaneously into the police patrol Toyota Hilux van.

It was also learnt that many persons were left with severe injuries in the incident that shook the entire town and heightened security checks in the town.

It was gathered that after the incident which happened at the outskirts of Maiduguri near Dalori Housing Estate, soldiers of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army with a combined team of mobile policemen and youth vigilante group popularly called  Civilian JTF swung into action combing the area for some of the attackers believed to still be at large.

The scene of the blasts was cordoned off in order to prevent further attacks as vehicles moving to and from the area were thoroughly searched.

The State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Gideon Jubrin, who confirmed the incident to journalists on phone, revealed that the five policemen that lost their lives in the attack were attached to the Federal Highway Patrol team.

He also revealed that three innocent civilians including the two suicide bombers died on the spot.

A member of the Civilian JTF, Ibrahim Haruna, who spoke to journalists, revealed that he saw the mangled bodies of the police officers immediately after the explosion.

He said, “The incident happened around 9am when we heard a loud bang and we mobilised to the scene where we discovered that it was a suicide bomb attack on a police patrol vehicle. I saw five bodies of policemen scattered all over the place.”

When our correspondent visited the scene of the attack on Tuesday, a burnt Volkswagen car believed to be used by the suicide bombers was seen with the bombers’ corpses.

Survivors and eyewitnesses in the Benue attacks told SaharaReporters that the invaders launched the attack on the community around 5am, with the sound of gunfire coming from their blazing guns waking many.

“Some of us even don’t know how we escaped (with our lives) because nobody here knew where the shots were coming from. We were just running in all directions (to get away,”) one source had said.

 At the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, about 12 bodies were brought in by the police some hours after the attacks.  Sources said some of the bodies were discovered with fresh bullet wounds, and assembled at the village.

The Benue State Police Command spokesperson, Daniel Ezeala, confirmed the early morning attack on the village, but insisted that the police saw only seven bodies.

 The village remains tense, and for good reason. For over two weeks, hardly a day has passed without an attack on the natives in Benue by suspected herdsmen and their militia.

Meanwhile, the police in Kaduna State on Tuesday foiled a plot to bomb the state capital by detonating a suspected substance believed  to be a high calibre  Improvised Explosive Device wrapped in a polythene bag and dropped  by an okada rider (commercial cyclist) at the ever busy Sultan/Sir. Kashim Road in the metropolis.

The incident occurred just as the state government through its Commissioner for Information and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Ben Bako, on Tuesday called on  residents to be vigilant and report suspicious movement to the security agents in the state.

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