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JTF battles Boko Haram in Kano

Channels Television  
Updated February 22, 2012

Multiple explosions and gunfire rocked Tishama quarters in Kano metropolis Wednesday morning as operatives of the Joint Military Taskforce (JTF) raided a suspected hide out for the Boko Haram sect.

The sporadic gunshots which started at about 4.00am forced Muslims in the area to shun calls for their early morning prayers.

“We were stopped from coming out for our early morning prayers, we couldn’t leave the house. About 5 a.m the gunshots and explosions started,” Stephen Ahmed, a Kano resident, told Reuters by phone.

Residence say the eastern by-pass otherwise known as ring road was cordoned off by the military at Mega station roundabout while a similar measure was extended to the Hadejia road end.

Clashes between Boko Haram gunmen and security forces have flared up several times in Kano since the sect killed about 200 people, its deadliest attack so far.

“There was a shootout and four arrests were made while the early morning operation lasted,” the spokesman for the JTF, Ikedi Iweha Ikidichi told Reuters while declining to answer further questions.

Boko Haram, which is waging an insurgency to try to impose sharia law across Nigeria, has become increasingly sophisticated and deadly in its methods in the last six months.

It often sets off multiple bombs in succession or follows them up with shooting sprees.

It claimed responsibility on Tuesday for attacks in its home base in the northeast town of Maiduguri this week which killed at least 8 people.
A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency said there were as yet no recorded casualties from the fighting, noting that it mostly happened in the early hours, when a curfew was still in force in Kano.