TEN Nigerian soldiers were reportedly killed in Gombi and Hong local government areas of Adamawa State late Sunday night, in a gun battle with insurgents.
Reports showed that Boko Haram insurgents had annexed additional two local government areas in their attempt to move to Yola, the capital of Adamawa State.
Nigerian tribune gathered that the Nigerian troops were battling hard to push away the militants from Gombi and Hong local government areas of the state.
The insurgents were said to be heading to Yola, a hundred kilometre from Gombi, but met resistance from the Nigeria troops, who were trying to push them back.
Some fleeing residents of Gombi, speaking with reporters in Yola, on Sunday, said the insurgents had taken over the entire Gombi Local Government Area of the state.
According to them, a number of Nigerian troops were killed by the insurgents.
A source among the residents said the dreaded group conducted a house-to-house search, killing many residents of Gombi in the process.
Meanwhile, Governor Bala James Ngilari has denied reports that the sect had taken over Hong and Gombi local government areas of the state.
Ngilari, who spoke through his Director of Press and Publicity, Mr.P. P. Elisha, said the insurgents were making efforts to force their way in the said councils, but met resistance from the Nigerian troops.
Elisha, however, said the state government had announced restriction of movement in the two councils, because of the ongoing battle between the Nigeria troops and the Boko Haram sect.
He said the decision was taken after the governor held a meeting with military authorities in Yola.
10 die as bomb explodes in Bauchi market
ABOUT 10 people were confirmed dead on Sunday evening, as another bomb blast hit Azare, the headquarters of Katagum Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
This came barely 10 days after a twin-bomb explosion occurred at a branch of FirstBank Plc in the ancient town.
The Sunday’s blast, the Nigerian Tribune gathered, occurred at about 5.30 p.m. at the GSM market in the town, Kasuwan Jagol, where people, particularly young men, sell and repair handsets and accessories.
The market is attached to the stadium at Unguwan Gabas.
Residents suspected that the latest bomb explosion in the town was carried out by a female suicide bomber, though there was no confirmation of this from security agencies as of the time of filing this report.
Hospital sources informed that the death toll might be high, as some of the victims were seriously affected.
The sources said some of the victims would have to be referred for further treatment elsewhere, probably at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH) in Bauchi or the Aminu Kano Specialist Hospital, Kano.
A resident, Babale Musa, who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune on phone, informed that the explosion was devastating, as Sunday was market day in the town.
According to him, many people were injured in the incident, adding that the injured were rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in the town.
He, however, lamented that the incident happened at a time members of the Joint Health Sector (JOHESU) were on a nationwide strike.
“It is unfortunate, this is the third time bomb explosion was happening in Azare within one month. Just penultimate Friday, there was an explosion at the ATM in FirstBank premises. Today again, we experience another one,” Musa told the Nigerian Tribune.
Also speaking with the Nigerian Tribune, the lawmaker representing Azare/Madagali in the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Honourable Baba Abubakar Suleiman, said though he was out of town, hospital sources informed him that 12 people died in the incident, while 46 others sustained varying degrees of injury.
The lawmaker, who is the Majority Leader in the assembly, stated that the current insurgency in the country portrayed Nigeria as a failed nation.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Haruna Mohammed, confirmed the bomb explosion, but could not confirm the actual figure of the casualties.
Fulani mercenaries in Nasarawa set Ombatse shrine ablaze, spiritual head, Alakyo, feared killed
By Ademola Adegbite - Lafia
FULANI mercenaries, early on Sunday morning, set outlawed Ombatse militia shrine ablaze in Alakyo village, Nasarawa State and its spiritual head, Lega Agu, popularly known as Baba Alakyo is feared killed in Nasarawa.
Informed Eggon sources told the Nigerian Tribune last night that the village was seized for several hours and residents were chased out completely.
Another source said the spiritual head, whose whereabouts was unknown as of the time of filing this report was said to have disappeared immediately marauders invaded the village around 3.00 a.m.
It will be recalled that over 90 security operatives were brutally killed on May 7, 2013 by the militia group.
Meanwhile, barely 24 hours after Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State embarked on a peace walk to mark a day of peace, unity and friendship in Lafia, the state capital, the Fulani mercenaries and Ombatse militiamen engaged themselves over control of the state.
At the end of the operation, which started around 3.00 a.m. at Alakyo village and ended around 11.00 a.m. at Shabu, about 10 kilometres from Alakyo, left scores dead, while many, including the state Head of Service, Mr Dominic Bako, sustained various degrees of injuries.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that Shabu, the headquarters of Lafia North Development Area was attacked at 8.00 a.m. by Ombatse militiamen. who were said to be retreating from Alakyo area. where they battled Fulani mercenaries since 3.00 a.m.
It was learnt further that melee ensued after the fleeing Ombatse militiamen were gloated at by Gwandara youths at Shabu for starting a fight and then ran away.
This, according to the eyewitnesses, did not go down well with the militiamen, who were mocked, as they started shooting sporadically and in the process, a bullet hit a woman, who was said to be a refugee from Arikya village, where over 30 persons were killed by Fulani mercenaries penultimate Friday.
One of the eyewitnesses, who did not want her name in the print, said the Ombatse boys have been keeping vigil on Alakyo community since information at their disposal was that Fulani mercenaries might invade the village.
According to him, members of Shabu community were forced to take bush paths for safety, because as soon as the Ombatse invaded the town, they took control of Lafia-Akwanga federal highway.
This, he said created tension in Lafia, the state capital, as people continued to move en masse to run for their dear lives.
Also, Halima Musa, who spoke to the Nigerian Tribune said: “I don’t know the whereabouts of my six children, because the attack came so swiftly. Ombatse killed any Gwandara person, because they said the governor, Al-Makura, who is our kinsman, has allowed the killing of Eggons in the state.”
Another eyewitness, Beatrice Sunday, whom the car she was travelling in was stopped at Shabu, said “Ombatse searched every car that passed as of time of the crisis and killed anyone who had the semblance of a Fulani man.
“Two people were pulled out of the Sienna bus we were travelling in and butchered to death. In fact, they butchered the one at the back seat while alighting,” she recounted in tears.
When contacted on phone, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Okechukwu Thiodus, confirmed the incident, saying casualty figure was still sketchy.
As of the time of filing this report, four corpses had been deposited at Dalhatu Araf Special Hospital (DASH) in Lafia, while over 20 persons, who had various degrees of injury were receiving treatment at the casualty unit of the hospital, with most of them lying on bare floor for want of space.
In a short interview with the Nigerian Tribune at DASH, the head of service, Mr Bako, said he went to pick his wife in Keffi and on getting Shabu, he saw some irate youths, fully armed and as he was about making a u-turn, one of them shot him in his hand.