The Joint Task Force (JTF) field commander, Col Victor Ebhaleme said on Sunday that the force killed 20 suspected Boko Haram members after a shoot-out in Maiduguri.

The force commander on Operation Restore Order (ORO) said that the shoot-out occurred on Saturday night.

Ebhaleme said also that one soldier was killed during the operation, which lasted for hours, while two others sustained injuries.

“We got intelligence reports that some suspected terrorists were meeting at a location in Maiduguri metropolis.

“But as we approached the venue they opened fire on our troops leading to exchange of fire,” he said.

“Twenty suspects were killed in the operation, while we lost a soldier. Two other soldiers sustained injuries and are receiving treatments in the hospital.

Policeman killed in attack on church

Meanwhile, a policeman attached to All Saints Catholic Church, Kanoyel in Gombe State, was shot dead by gunmen on Sunday morning.

Rev. Fr. Williams Ochai, the parish priest said that the gunmen arrived at the church premises at the end of the service and tried to gain entry into the church, but quick thinking by the parishoners who had shut the gate meant that they couldn’t get in.?

According to him, as soon as the parishioners heard the gun shots, they immediately shut the gate to the church.

He, however, said one of the policemen died instantly while the other sustained serious injuries.

Reacting to the incident, the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Gombe State, Rev. Abare Kalla, described it as unfortunate.

Kalla said CAN had an information that there would be an attack but did not know where it would occur, adding that security agents were informed.

He said the aim of the attackers was to gain entry into the church but that they could not succeed because of the fence.

He confirmed that a policeman deployed to the area was killed in the incident while another sustained injuries.

Kalla commiserated with the family of the policeman and prayed for the recovery of the injured.

Efforts to contact the police spokesperson prove abortive as the the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ibrahim Abdullahi, told newsmen on phone that he was in Abuja.?

In a related development, unknown gunmen also ambushed and killed one mobile police officer and nine soldiers on Sunday, in an afternoon attack launched against a security patrol team in Damaturu, Yobe State.

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