Security forces battle Boko Haram in Potiskum, Yobe State, after sect’s attack on police headquarters

Map of Nigeria showing Yobe State

On 6 January, an armed band, believed to be members of the militant Islamist group widely known as Boko Haram, launched gun and bomb attacks on the police headquarters in Potiskum, the commercial nerve centre of Yobe State. Police authorities said there were “some deaths and injuries”, but there is yet no detailed report on the number of casualties or the scale of damage.

Some reports said the attackers robbed and burnt two banks in the town, and also fired shots and threw a bomb into a nearby police barracks, but no one in the barracks was hurt. They said security forces responded with a gun battle that raged through the night.

The Commissioner of Police in Yobe State, Mr Lawan Tanko, confirmed the incident to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), but said his headquarters was yet to receive details. Potiskum is about 120 km west of the state capital, Damaturu.

In the wake of the fighting, dozens of soldiers were deployed across the town. Hundreds of residents in the areas around the police headquarters fled their homes for fear of being caught in the cross-fire.

Potiskum is in the part of Yobe State which President Goodluck Jonathan placed under emergency rule on 31 December 2011, but this is the second episode of violence in the area since the emergency was declared.

On 4 January, a blast hit a pub in ‘Khandahar’, a popular area that has many bars and brothels, in the Yobe State capital, Damaturu. Gunmen also shot and killed two people in the city. The attacks came at the expiration of the three-day ultimatum which the Boko Haram sect gave to Christians and southerners, to leave the majority Muslim northern parts of the country.

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Posted on January 7, 2012, in NIGERIA POLICE FORCE, NORTHERN VIOLENCE and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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