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Civilian JTF, Boko-Haram In Gun Duel

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1 Civilian JTF, Boko-Haram In Gun Duel on 4th July 2013, 2:17 pm

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By Michael Olugbode

Members of  the Civilian JTF, a vigilante group in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, and those of the outlawed Boko Haram sect, Wednesday  clashed, resulting in the death of unspecified number of people.

Members of the vigilante group, comprising youths which was formed in the wake of the military expedition occasioned by the declaration of state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States,   have in recent times  launched a manhunt for the insurgents, forcing many to flee the troubled town.

However, worried by the activities of the group, which have led to the exposure of the many suspected terrorists, Boko Haram had warned them to stop exposing its members or risk death.

The outlawed sect carried out its threat Wednesday, as it attacked the youths, who had invaded the Jajeri stronghold of Boko Haram, in search of the insurgents.

The clash between the two groups led to the exchange of gunshots, while other weapons, including locally made bombs, were freely used.

According to some residents living close to Jajeri ward, who ran for safety to some of their relatives in GRA, there were several gunshots and bomb explosions at Jajeri, behind Baga Market at about 1.15p.m.

They said the  problem started when the youths confronted the insurgents at Jajeri, during which many people were either killed or injured in the gunfight between the two groups.

"You know the JTF have since being  giving a supportive hand to the Civilian JTF; now there was a serious stop-and-search operation along Baga Road where the Civilian JTF arrested not less than six suspected Boko Haram members," a source said.

There was no way to get across to the Joint Task Force (JTF) spokesman, Lt. Col Sagir Musa, to confirm the story as communications by telephone have been disrupted since the military ordered the network operators to shut down their base stations in the state.

Also Wednesday, three men who dressed in women's cloth and attempted to smuggle explosive devices into a police station in Maiduguri were shot dead by vigilant troops from the JTF.

It was learnt that the men had dressed in  hijab, worn by Muslim women, and made to enter the police station as if they were visiting somebody.

It was gathered that the insurgents resorted to such a method because   women were given lesser scrutiny by security agents in deference to Islamic  tenets that specified that women be respected.
However, the sect members have taken advantage of this as they have devised the strategy of dressing like women to avoid detection.

A source said the three suspected Boko Haram members hid their weapons, which included  AK-47 rifles and rocket propelled grenade launchers, under their clothes as they attempted to attack the  Ibrahim Taiwo Police Station in Maiduguri.

The source said there was exchange of gun fires during the incident, which took place at about 2p.m., making many people to run for safety.

He said the JTF had  learnt through  intelligence report that the terrorists might struck at the police station and troops were on the lookout for them.

"It was when we killed three of them before we realised that all those killed are men but in women dresses," the source said.

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