Suspected members of Islamist group Boko Haram bombed a police station in northeastern Nigeria and freed more than a dozen prisoners, while three of the attackers were killed, police said on Thursday.
Gunmen stormed the station in Damagun in Yobe state late on Wednesday, leaving it burnt and an officer wounded. A house being used as a military post was also burned, while 14 inmates were freed from a prison at another location in town.
“Three of the Boko Haram gunmen were killed during the attack on the police station while a police officer was shot and injured in a shoot-out with the attackers,” Yobe state police spokesperson Gbadegesin Toyin told AFP.
Toyin said the police station was completely burnt in the attack.
“The gunmen also burnt down a house used as a military post and an adjoining building housing some Korean doctors employed by the Yobe state government,” he said, adding there were no casualties from those incidents.
One resident said what appeared to be a large crowd of attackers were shouting “Allahu Akbar” as they stormed the building.
Another resident said the gunmen engaged the police in a shoot-out before hurling explosives into the station.
“They have burnt down the police station and shut down the highway … Everybody is indoors,” the resident said late on Wednesday.
Meanwhile two gunmen shot dead a police inspector in Maiduguri, in neighbouring Borno state, a police spokesperson said.
He was killed while shopping in the city’s Gamboru market, Borno state police spokesperson Samuel Tizhe said.
Maiduguri has long been considered Boko Haram’s base and the city has been repeatedly targeted for its attacks.
Tizhe said police in Maiduguri had announced financial rewards for residents providing information leading to the arrest of Boko Haram members or the recovery of illegal arms.
“The police have promised $3 125 for information that leads to the arrest of Boko Haram Islamists and a reward in like sum on information leading to the recovery of arms,” Tizhe said.
A military task force in Borno state has been carrying out door-to-door searches in a bid to crack down on Boko Haram.
The Islamist group has been blamed for scores of attacks, mainly in Nigeria’s north. A bid to hold indirect talks between the government and Boko Haram in recent weeks appears to have broken down.