[Bychampion]

Gunmen suspected to be members of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko-Haram have, again, shot dead three civilians in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.

The attacks which took place last Sunday and yesterday forced operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) to close markets in an attempt to fish out the assailants.

Traders in Baga Motor-Park fish market and the neighboring Timber market, popularly known as Timber-shed had to abandon their Wares unattended as angry soldiers closed down the markets.

The killings occurred two days after the sect members killed a local butcher at the same market, even as a local patent medicine seller in Jajeri ward was said to have been shot dead by gunmen on Sunday night.

It would be recalled that Boko Haram sect had last Sunday called for the immediate release of its members in detention as a condition for talks with the government.

Abu Qaqa, the spokesman for the sect said, “Our position remains the establishment of Shariah Law in all Muslim states in Nigeria.

“But as a temporary measure for peace, we will accept to talk with government only when all our members in captivity all over the states are released,“ Qaqa said in a statement.

He added that the sect had the records of all its members arrested either by the police, the State Security Service (SSS) or other security agencies.

Qaqa pointed out that the sect did not have any other motive than the entrenchment of Islamic law in Nigeria.

He faulted the claims by the Gaji Galtimari-led Federal Government committee on security challenges in the Northeast on dialogue with the sect.

He said “We only heard the story in the media, nobody contacted us throughout the sitting of the committee.

“So, it is wrong for them to recommend dialogue with us when they did not make any effort to meet with us.

“The idea of appointing the Sultan of Sokoto as a mediator between us and the government is also not acceptable to us because the Sultan is not the authentic Muslim leader in Nigeria”.

Back to yesterday’s killing an eyewitnesses claimed that the killers who came on foot with sophisticated guns opened fire at people sitting at a Local tea drinking joint, which resulted in killing the proprietor, who was popularly known as Tumba as well as one other person.

Minutes after the incident members of the Joint Task Force announced the immediate closure of the market, situated within the Baga-motor park, as well as the nearby Timber-shed.

Angry traders evicted from their stalls in the market, were not happy with the action of the soldiers, even as they said the action of the soldiers were unnecessary as the killers invade the market from outside and not inside.

A confused Stock fish-seller, who identified himself as Ahmed Ibrahim newsmen that they are in a serious dilemma there; “some gunmen come in from outside to kill our people in the market every day, and now the JTF soldiers, instead of going after them, are busy chasing us out of the market forcing us to leave our shops and wares unattended”.

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