Boko Haram members
By Michael Olugbode
Suspected Boko Haram members Wednesday attacked Rann, the headquarters of Kala Balge Local Government Area of Borno State killing five policemen and detonating several Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
Eyewitnesses said members of the sect who invaded the town on motorcycles, also succeeded in attacking the official residence of the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the council, Central Primary School and Government Lodge.
It was also gathered that they destroyed the masts belonging to major telecommunications firms, MTN, Glo and Airtel.
Some of the policemen killed during the attack, were Corporal Emmanuel Kwaya, Ishaku Sam, Yahaya Mohammed and two others whose names were withheld.
It was also gathered that one of the officers sustained bullet wounds, even as the gunmen also carted away three AK 47 rifles from the station.
This development is coming barely 24 hours after a popular beer joint at Bayan Railway Quarters, few metres away from the demolished enclave of the Boko Haram leader, Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, was attacked last Sunday evening and two customers shot dead.
The Kala Balge incident, it was gathered, took place at about 3.am on Tuesday when most of the residents were still asleep.
Efforts to reach the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Gideon Jubrin, on phone proved abortive.
In another development, there was apprehension in Maiduguri Wednesday as heavy artillery was moved within the town by the Joint Task Force (JTF) to engage the members of the Boko Haram sect in deadly battle in one of their strongholds, Bulabulin.
Bulabulin had seen many confrontations in the past as many patrol vehicles of the JTF have had many improvised explosive devices thrown at them in the area.
The movement of the heavy artillery, which include motorised machine guns, armoured personnel carriers, held up traffic for minutes.
Gunshots were heard for more than 30 minutes as there were casualties on both sides.
Confirming the confrontation in a statement, the spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, said based on information, a cordon and search operation was conducted at Bulabulin Ganram area of Maiduguri metropolis at about 12:30pm Wednesday.
He said during the exchange of fire, a soldier was killed with another injured and an immigration personnel still missing in action.
Sagir said three suspected Boko Haram members were shot dead in the confrontation with 31members arrested.
He said items recovered include an AK47 rifle, a G3 rifle and some quantity of assorted magazines and ammunition.