The Nigerian Army on Friday confirmed that three soldiers were killed in an attack by gunmen in Daura, Katsina State.
Garba Wahab, the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 1 Division, Nigerian Army, who disclosed this to newsmen in Kaduna, said several of the attackers were also killed.
Earlier, the police commissioner in Katsina, Abdullahi Magaji, said five of the gunmen were killed.
The police commissioner said the gunmen bombed two police stations and four banks in the town on Thursday night. He said one of the suspects was killed on Thursday night while the other four were trailed and killed on Mani-Dutsi road around 9.30 a.m. on Friday.
Mr. Magaji refused to confirm the death of two policemen in the incident. He said 10 guns, ammunition, improvised explosive devices, as well as two vehicles belonging to the suspects were recovered.
He said a police special squad was combing the area to smoke out some of the gunmen who escaped and appealed to residents to cooperate with security agents by exposing the hideouts of such criminals and their activities.
Mr. Wahab also said that the army and other security personnel had cordoned off three areas in the city and were conducting a house-to-house search “to fish out some of the wounded gunmen who forced their way into peoples’ homes.”
He said that the army was coordinating with security agencies in Niger Republic as “80 to 90 per cent of these gun men are not Nigerians.”
Mr. Wahab added that a vehicle loaded with the stolen cash was recovered, in addition to four AK-47 rifles. He said that the operation to fish out the culprits was ongoing, and advised residents of Daura and the neighbouring local government areas of Baure, Sandamu, Mashi, and Dutsi to cooperate with security agents by reporting suspicious movements around them.
“What happened this morning is similar to what happened in Bama where the gunmen burnt prison and police stations to divert attention,’’ he said.
Mr. Wahab appealed to journalists to support security agencies in the fight against terror, saying it was the collective responsibility of all well-meaning Nigerians to work for the peace and stability of the nation.
“Let us stop patronising criminality. Whether they are terrorists or armed bandits, the truth is that they are against the Nigerian state, and that is the bottom line,” he added.
Meanwhile, economic activities have been paralysed in Daura Town as many shops, filling stations and other businesses remained closed. Security personnel are patrolling the area to ensure the maintenance of law and order, while many residents remained indoors