Eight die in security agents, Boko Haram clash in Abuja
Eight die in security agents, Boko Haram clash in AbujaEight people were feared dead and 16 injured in Friday’s early morning raid of suspected Boko Haram hideout in Gudu District of Abuja by security agents.
While the injured are being treated at Asokoro General Hospital, about 12 others were arrested by security agents.
The clash with the insurgents was directly behind the Apo Legislative Quarters, which houses some Senators and members of the House of Representatives.
The incident sent panic with some Senators and House members in Zone E part of the Legislative Quarters temporarily relocating their families.
The hideout was still being combed by soldiers and intelligence operatives
But independent investigation revealed that the uncompleted twin-duplex at Sabo Barkin Zuwo Street in Gudu was being occupied by about 200 migrant and menial workers, suspected to be members of Boko Haram.
Many commercial tri-cycles (aka Keke NAPEP) belonging to some f the victims/ suspects were seen littering the embattled street.
While neighbours claimed that the incident happened at about 12am, the State Security Service (SSS) said the raid on the hideout took place at about 12.30am.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Public Relations of the SSS, Marilyn Ogar, said: “In the early hours of 20th September, 2013, about 0030 hours, a combined security team went for an operation behind the Apo legislative quarters.
“The operation was sequel to information obtained from two (2) Boko Haram elements Kamal Abullahi and Mohammed Adamu, who had earlier been arrested for terrorist activities.
“They led the security team to uncompleted buildings where arms were purported to have been buried underground.
“No sooner had the team commenced digging for the arms, than they came under heavy gunfire attack by other Boko Haram elements within the area, which prompted immediate response from the security team.
“As a result, some persons were injured and twelve (12) others have been arrested in connection with the incident, and are making useful statements.
“Normalcy has returned to the area. Members of the public are advised to go about their normal businesses, as appropriate security measures have been emplaced to ensure the safety of citizens in the FCT.
“We want to reiterate the need for all Nigerians to be vigilant of their immediate environment and promptly report suspicious activities to security agencies. Our National security must remain the collective responsibility of all Nigerians.”
But a reliable source, who recorded the aftermath of the clash on video, gave different insights into the incident.
The source said: “We started hearing gunshots at about 12 am and most of us along the street and Zone E part of the Apo Legislative Quarters could not sleep throughout the night.
“I think the exchange of shots lasted for about one and a half hours. This morning when I visited the uncompleted duplex, I video-taped nine dead persons and I am aware that about 15 had been taken to Asokoro General Hospital for treatment.”
Responding to a question, the source said: “The security agencies may have had their facts, but the truth is that more than 200 migrant and menial workers had been living in the duplex in the last two years. They included homeless labourers and commercial tricycles drivers.
“These migrant workers mostly from Northern parts used to pay N200 per week to the security guard manning the duplex, who was not on duty when the security agents or gunmen as known to us came around.
“We did not suspect them to be Boko Haram members because many people in the neighborhood have had contact with them in one way or the other.”
Asked if there was any sign of a likely raid of the duplex, the source added: “Actually, we learnt that the duplex is allegedly owned by a top military officer who was uncomfortable with how the uncompleted building had been turned into a hostel overnight.