From TIMOTHY OLANREWAJU, Maiduguri
It was another evil haul of mystery corpses as no fewer than 60 bodies on Thursday night, arrived the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital. Though, the police and the JTF in the state were curiously silent about where the bodies were brought from and where they died, a dependable security source told Sunday Sun they were victims of a bloody gun battle between a dreaded Islamist sect and JTF troops during a raid.
The source said the JTF had carried out, “a discreet operation around Gujba Local Government Area on Thursday evening to smoke out suspected terror sect men” from their hideout but the operation snowballed into a fierce battle between the security agents and the militants. “Sixty four terror suspects died in the gun duel,” the top security personnel who did not want his name in print, disclosed. Sunday Sun could not get the reaction of the authorities of the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital in Damaturu as at press time.
However, sources at the hospital said the bodies were brought in at about 11pm. “Actually, 64 corpses were brought to the mortuary at about 11pm on Thursday,” the source hinted though he could not ascertain whether it was the JTF that brought them. Apart from security operatives, especially the JTF, restriction of movement during the 6pm to 7am curfew was still in force in most parts of the state following renewed attacks by suspected Boko Haram members including the recent killings at Gujba, Geidam and Tarmuwa local government areas.
Due to the curfew, it has been difficult for civilians to move their dead from any part of the state to the hospital except during the day. But in his reaction, the JTF spokesman, Lt Lazarus, said the alleged killing of 60 Boko Haram suspects and dumping of corpses at hospital by the military outfit, was untrue. “We heard this rumour but it is very untrue. We didn’t kill any Boko Haram suspect on Thursday. This is the kind of rumour we usually hear here,” he stated.