The Joint Task Force military unit on Saturday launched a pre-emptive offensive against suspected Boko Haram sect members, killing at least three members of the sect, reports have said.
Gunfire and explosions rang through the restive city of Damaturu, the Yobe State capital even as JTF operatives raided a hideout belonging to the sect.
Yobe State police spokesman, Toyin Gbadagesin told the Associated Press that the operation left the hideout, which is located in a residential part of the city, “completely destroyed”. in a residential part of the city of Damaturu.
Though Gbadegesin did not divulge how many alleged sect members were killed in Saturday’s explosive attacks, a staff of the Damaturu Specialist Hospital told the AP, on condition of anonymity, that three bullet-ridden bodies were brought into the morgue.
The police spokesman said they raided the compound after receiving information about “a plan by Boko Haram hoodlums to launch attacks in the city”.
The Joint Task Force (JTF) military unit “located their positions… they cordoned off these positions and engaged the gunmen in a shootout,” he explained to the AFP.
There was a heavy exchange of gunfire between soldiers and Islamist militants, who sometimes threw IEDs at the military operatives, Gbadegesin explained, and it exchange lasted for about an hour.
Residents in the area were frightened by the blasts and gunfire and have remained indoors. Recent attacks in Damaturu in the past week claimed at least 40 lives and displaced many who are fleeing the ongoing violence.