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Maiduguri shooting: Cops parade sect followers

The ammunitions, according to the police, include 74 empty locally made bomb shells, bags of gun powder, explosive chemicals, acid, other components for making local…

The ammunitions, according to the police, include 74 empty locally made bomb shells, bags of gun powder, explosive chemicals, acid, other components for making local bombs and swords amongst others.

The police said the items were recovered in Biu Local Government Area of Borno State following intelligence report that the group was preparing to cause trouble in the state.

Yusuf had threatened a reprisal attack after a squad of the state’s anti-robbery outfit Operation Flush, shot 17 of his followers on Thursday, June 11, while on their way to ,a cemetery in a procession bury to four of their members who died in a motor accident along the Biu-Maiduguri road.

Borno State Commissioner of Police, Mr Christopher Dega, who paraded the nine suspects yesterday, said the group was arrested on Tuesday behind the office of the FRSC in Biu doing a raid carried out by a team of vigilante and policemen.

Dega said upon interrogation, the suspects said their leader, Mohammed Yusuf, gave them directives to prepare themselves with weapons in readiness for a battle. He added that when a search was conducted, the police recovered three swords, three bags containing gun powder, 74 empty home made bomb shells and bomb heads, eleven motor vehicle filters, 18 packets of 5 bang knock ink, one tin of plastic filter, 4 bottles of methanol explosive acid, 7 rubber containers of sodium chemical, a substance for measuring chemicals, 2 screw drivers and other components for making bombs in the residence of one of the military commanders of the group, Inusa Ibrahim Sabo in Biu.

Another member of the group, Abu Hapsa, told our correspondent that the explosives were not meant to attack securitymen as being suspected by the police but were meant for self defence.

“We have not used the explosives yet. We were carrying out religious activities in peace. It was the police who shot our men some months ago for no just cause and since that incident, we made up our minds to arm ourselves to resist any future attack on us by anyone,” Hapsa said.  

Even though no person was officially reported dead after the shooting, many sustained injuries. Sources close to Yusuf said the group is very aggrieved because the Borno State government, as well as security agencies neither assisted those shot nor apologised for the shooting.

Weekly Trust reports that since Yusuf’s threat that his group will carry out a reprisal attack, residents are living in fear especially on Friday when many traders remain in their houses.

It was not clear if Yusuf will be arrested by the police, but the CP said investigations are being carried out and necessary steps will be taken based on findings.