22nd February, 2011
Some persons are suspected to have died in Damaturu on Monday in a shootout between the police and suspected gunmen.
A witness told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that a team of mobile policemen had stormed Nayinawa Quarters in Damaturu at about 6 a.m. on Monday and soon after a gunfight ensued in the area.
â€œWe later saw some policemen carrying corpses,â€ the witness said.
The Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr. Suleiman Lawal, later confirmed the incident and said the policemen were from Maiduguri.
He explained that the policemen had come in search of some suspected criminals hiding in Damaturu.
Lawal said it was difficult to know the number of people, who died in the gun battle or the number of suspects arrested as his command had yet to get adequate information on the operation.
He, however, said: â€œMy command has performed its normal duty of assisting the Maiduguri Command to arrest the suspects and recover some weapons.â€
He denied that the operation was in connection with the Boko Haram sect, adding: â€œWe donâ€™t have Boko Haram here.
Meanwhile, the commissioner said the police arrested one Ibrahim Mohammed for alleged armed robbery at Jerusalem Quarters in Damaturu on Sunday evening.
He said that the suspect allegedly broke into a house in the area and shot one Cpl. Yohanna Ahile, who later died on the way to the hospital.
Lawal said Ahile was on an official duty in the area when the suspect raided the house.
The commissioner appealed to the people to assist the command in identifying criminals in the state.
â€œYou see, I got information about the raid from a member of the community; that is good,â€ he said.