81 killed in Borno, Kogi, Zamfara

No fewer than 81 Nigerians have been killed in violent attacks and disease outbreak in Bonro, Kogi, and Zamfara states.

While 16 people were killed on Sunday when gunmen struck in three communities in Kogi State, another died when suicide bombers hit Bama Town in Borno State.

Also yesterday, three soldiers, four Boko Haram insurgents and two Civilian JTF vigilantes were killed in fierce battle between terrorists and troops in Borno State.

The AUTHORITY learnt that the 16 victims in the Kogi incident were killed when bandits attacked Kpanche community in Bassa Local Government in the early hours of Sunday.

The gunmen also attacked two other communities which raised the death toll from the earlier 10 confirmed by the police in the state to 16.

The traditional ruler of Mozum community, Alhaji Khalid Bukar, told journalists in Lokoja that the violence by Sunday afternoon spread to Ozugbe and Biroko communities, which are under his domain.

He said that several houses in the two communities were razed by the hoodlums, who also killed five persons.

Bukar added that a resident, he simply identified as Musa, was still missing.

Among those killed by the gunmen included the Madaki of Biroko, Alhaji Mohammed Umar, and four of his subjects, Bukar said.

Apart from several others, the residence of the late Madaki was burnt by the invaders.

Bukar said that he promptly informed security agents of the development, but lamented that the damage had been done before they arrived in the area.

The police in an update on the incident said six of the bandits who attacked Kpanche were killed. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), William Aya, stated that 15 houses were burnt in Kpanche.

He said that when the command received distress calls from residents, mobile policemen and soldiers were promptly dispatched to restore peace and order in the community.

According to him, “on sighting the security personnel, the bandits opened fire at them, but were vehemently resisted by the security personnel who killed six of the attackers”.

He was however silent on the attacks and killings at Ozugbe and Biroko communities.

Aya said that the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ali Janga, had directed a thorough investigation into the unfortunate incidents.

The police had earlier in Lokoja on Sunday confirmed the death of 10 persons when the gunmen invaded Kpanche community.

Janga had told newsmen that the victims included five residents of the community, while five of the armed bandits were killed during a cross fire with security agents.

He said that the bandits invaded the sleepy agrarian village in the early hours of Sunday, but were quickly repelled by a combined team of policemen and soldiers, adding that normalcy has been restored in the area.

According to him, five houses and unspecified number of vehicles, tricycles, motorcycles and other properties were set ablaze by the bandits.

*4 killed as suicide bombers target Borno mosque

In the Bama incident, four persons were killed and eight others injured when two suicide bombers attacked a mosque in the town in the early hours of Sunday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that the attack came about three weeks after the Borno State government sanctioned the return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to the badly destroyed community which was reclaimed from the Boko Haram insurgents.

The attack was the first since the return of Bama IDPs. But it has rekindled public concern on the security around the community, the second largest in the state after Maiduguri, the state capital.

The chairperson of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Yabawa Kolo, said that four persons died and eight others were injured in the dawn attack. The dead included the two suicide bombers.

Earlier, sources in Bama indicated that the attackers were two young people, who sneaked into a mosque during the morning prayer.

A resident, Abba Masta, said the attack took place “at a mosque around Bama Dina area of Shehuri/Mairi/Hausari ward of Bama town.

“The victims were evacuated to military hospital for further treatment of serious injuries,” Masta, who is a community leader in Bama, said.

The SEMA boss said that all the casualties were later evacuated to the Maiduguri Specialist Hospital for treatment.

The police, in a statement released on Sunday afternoon, confirmed the attack and casualty.

“At about 5.40am of today, two female suicide bombers infiltrated into Ajilari area in Bama town, Bama Local Government Area and launched a suicide bomb attack on residents observing morning (Asuba) prayers,” the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Edet Okon, said.

“They detonated the Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) strapped to their bodies, killing themselves and two other male victims. Eight other persons were injured and were rushed to hospital for treatment.

“The corpses have also been evacuated. The Borno State Police Command had deployed men of the PMF and EOD personnel to render the area safe and return normalcy,” he said.

The Council Chairman, Baba-Shehu Gulumba, explained that the incident occurred at about 5: 00 a.m., adding that three persons died on the spot.

*4 Boko Haram insurgents, 3 soldiers, 2 JTF killed in Borno

The Nigerian Army on Sunday said that its troops killed four Boko Haram insurgents in separate operations in Borno.

Brig-Gen. Texas Chukwu, the Director, Amy Public Relations, said in a statement that three soldiers and two members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) also lost their lives in the encounter.

Chukwu said: “Troops of 25 Task Force Brigade on “Operation LAFIYA DOLE” have neutralised three members of the Boko Haram terrorists following an attack on the troops.

“Unfortunately, three soldiers lost their lives during the encounter. Also, two members of the Civilian Joint Task Force were neutralised in the exchange of fire, “he said.

Chukwu added that the troops recovered Rocket Propelled Gun (RPG) parts and a fully-loaded FN-Rifle magazine of 7.62mm NATO round belt.

In another encounter, Chukwu said that troops of 151 Task Force Battalion of “Operation LAFIYA DOLE” while on patrol, intercepted and killed one insurgent on Ngurosoye-Bama Road, Borno.

Chukwu said that the Boko Haram terrorist was killed during exchange of fire while other members of the group fled.

He added that the troops recovered two bicycles, two bags of guinea-corn and a bag of onion.

According to him, troops of 25 Task Force Brigade in the on-going clearance operation intercepted three women and children.

*52 die from CSM in Zamfara

In Zamfara State, 52 people mostly children of school age, have died from an outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis Syndrome (CSM).

The incident, which is the third in seven months, broke out in about four Local Government Areas of the state. The LGAs are Maradun, Tsafe, Bakura and Birni-Magaji, checks by The AUTHORITY have revealed.

Some adults, including a 36-year-old man, died from the outbreak, two days to his wedding.

It was gathered that the casualty figure was high because some of the hospitals were deserted by health officers posted there to discharge their duties.

At the General Hospitals in Maradun, Talata-Mafara, and Bakura, which the state government claimed to have expended billions of naira to rehabilitate, the workers were nowhere to be found.

There were no isolated camps where patients of such disease are usually quarantined for proper medical care.

Some patients at the Tsafe General Hospital told our reporter that since they came there for treatment, no health worker had attended to them.

“We came here since Friday, but till now, nobody has deemed it fit to even talk to us,” said one Tanimu Sani, who brought his son to the hospital for treatment.

The health commissioner could not be reached as he was alleged to be chairing an anniversary committee.

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