Two civilians were killed when Joint Task Force operatives clashed with gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect in the Gambouru ward of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
Residents and eyewitnesses said the violence erupted when the gunmen attempted an attack on a military patrol vehicle near Kofa Biyu, on the Sir Kashim Ibrahim way.
According to one eye witness, residents in the area fled the scene after shooting between soldiers and gunmen began.
“I cannot tell you whether some people were killed in the shootouts, but some of us run into our houses for fear of being killed by stray bullets this morning here in Gambouru,” he said.
A source in the Accident and Emergency unit of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) told the Vanguard that two bodies were dropped off at the hospital by a JTF van.
In a text message to the newspaper, the source said, “two men in personal dress were brought in dead now at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit of Teaching Hospital by a JTF van at about 12 noon Thursday.”
JTF spokesman said he was unaware of the shootout, but promised to investigate and confirm reports of casualties.
Borno state police spokesman, Gideon Jibrin, confirmed the incident and said the civilians were victims of stray bullets. He promised investigations would commence after the Gambouru ward area commander sends in a full report.