Suspected members of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, on Tuesday stormed a roadblock mounted by the Joint Military Task Force in Yobe State and killed four soldiers and two policemen.

Gonori is about 50 kilometres away from Damaturu, the state capital.

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The insurgents, numbering about 20, were said to have caught their victims unawares while they were relaxing at about 7pm. The attackers were said to have carried AK47 guns.

A security source who briefed our correspondents said, ?Some people suspected to be Boko Haram members opened fire at a JTF roadblock and killed six security operatives on duty.

?Those who died include four soldiers and two policemen; some other soldiers who sustained gunshot wounds have been moved to the hospital.

?The suspected Boko Haram members might have been monitoring the roadblock and opened fire when they noticed that the soldiers were more relaxed; the attack took place in the evening.

A top security personnel at the Defence Headquarters on Wednesday confirmed the incident on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The source said members of the Special Forces were still engaged in a gunfight in Yobe over the incident till late on Wednesday.

The Special Forces is an amalgam of security operatives raised to confront insurgents in the troubled North-East when the Federal Government declared a state of emergency in Yobo, Borno and Adamawa states a few months ago.

Security operatives on the trail of insurgents believed to be in possession of dynamites in Potiskum had shut down the town for a house-to-house search operation on Tuesday.

There was also the fear in security circles that the insurgents could use the explosives hijacked last week from Rick Rock Quarry, operated by a Pakistani in the Gulani Local Government Area of the state, to wreak havoc during the Eid-el-Fitr celebrations.

Spokesman for the JTF, Captain Eli Lazarus, reportedly said that the JTF decided to impose a 24-hour curfew on Potiskum in response to an intelligence report that the insurgents were planning attacks in the city with effect from Monday.

A source who confided in our correspondents on Wednesday said that the JTF had temporarily shut down the MTN communication in Yobe State in order to confront the development though the communication facilities had since been restored in the evening of Tuesday.

Efforts to get the Director of Defence Information, Brig. Chris Olukolade, to comment on the Yobe attack did not succeed as repeated calls to his mobile phone were not answered.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday admitted that members of Boko Haram took his government by surprise with their terror tactics.

Jonathan who spoke at the breaking of Ramadan fast with Muslim members of the Diplomatic Corps in the Presidential Villa, Abuja,  regretted that the attacks being unleashed on Nigerians by the sect members had led to the killing of children, security agents and many other innocent persons.

He said, ?In Nigeria, the security challenge we face is all too well-known. The activities of the Boko Haram sect, especially their tactics of terror, took us all by surprise.

?The mindless attacks of this group have led to the loss of innocent lives of children, law enforcement agents and other innocent citizens.

?However, it is significant to note that with commitment and fervent prayers to God by all who profess their faith in the supreme creator, we have achieved significant success in containing the menace of the sect.?

The President expressed the hope that the Ramadan season had imbued the peoples of the world with compassion and forgiveness to enable them to surmount the challenges of global conflicts and wars.

He urged the Muslim diplomats to always pray for Allah to intervene and help address the various challenges confronting all nations, especially nations facing civil strife, political instability and financial crisis.

Source: Punch

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