JTF kills 35 & arrests 60 Boko Haram members in Damaturu, Yobe State

Men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Yobe State have killed 35 suspected Boko Haram sect members and arrested about 60 others in Damaturu, the state capital.

Two members of the JTF were injured in the operation, which began at about 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, with the gun battle apparently taking place in the Kandahar, Pawari and Pawari Cemetery areas of the city. The violence lasted until the early hours of today, a spokesman said.

The JTF said it also recovered a large quantity of weapons and other accessories belonging to the sect.

JTF last Friday imposed a 24-hour curfew on Damaturu and Potiskum and commenced a house-to-house search for members of the sect. The unprecedented action was extended to Mubi, in Adamawa State, where a large cache of arms was also reportedly recovered. 

Following the shootout, JTF said the curfew in Damaturu and Potiskum has been relaxed in both towns.

The JTF spokesperson in Damaturu, Lt. Eli Lazaru, said in a statement today, “At about 6.30pm Sunday 23rd September 2012, men of JTF on Cordon and Search operation were engaged in a battle with Boko Haram elements around Kandahar, Pawari and Pawari Cemetery areas of Damaturu the Yobe State capital. The operation which lasted throughout Sunday night and continued into the early hours of Monday 24th September 2012 recorded fierce exchange of fire between JTF troops and the terrorists. Thirty five (35) terrorists were killed in the fight while several others were arrested. Weapons and other items displayed were recovered. Meanwhile, the 24 hours curfew earlier imposed on Damaturu and Potiskum towns have been relaxed.”

Lazarus added that “Two (2) JTF men were injured in the battle. It is however pertinent to state that the operation is still ongoing. Therefore, the JTF appeals for calm and continued cooperation from the peace loving and law-abiding people of Yobe State in order to rid the state of terrorists.”