by Jude Owuamanam with agency report
A combined team of the military, police and operatives of the State Security Service has uncovered a massive arms dump and hideout of suspected members of a terrorist group in Jos, the capital of Plateau State.
Items recovered from the hideout included over 1000 rounds of ammunition, various calibres of AK 47 riffles, four of which were fully loaded, bomb detonating cables and many fertilizer bags.
It was gathered on Saturday that the hideout was discovered earlier in the week in Rikkos area of Jos North Local Government Area, but was kept as a secret to allow security operatives get more information on the activities of the group in the state.
The discovery came less than one week after the redeployment of a former Security Task Force commander, Maj Gen. Ibrahim Mohammed.
SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that as early as 6:00am on Saturday, security agencies had positioned themselves at various strategic areas of the locality and eventually moved into the suspected building at about 9:30 am.
However, the suspects escaped before security men got there, but five women and 11 children found in the building were arrested.
One of the women was suspected to be wife of the suicide bomber that attacked the ThisDay office in Abuja, last month.
A source told our correspondent on the conditions of anonymity that the STF was informed that more ammunition were on the way to the house and that they wanted to catch the suspects red handed.
“We wanted to capture the suspects, but unfortunately, they escaped before the operation was carried out between Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.”
The source further said the three-bedroom apartment was demolished on Saturday.
The information officer of the Special Task Force, Captain Markus Mdayheus, who confirmed the discovery and demolition of the hideout, said the exercise was carried out for security reasons.
He said, “Further search on the house at about 6:30am of May 19, revealed one AK-47 rifle, and four magazines, fully loaded with 7.62mm special ammunition and 150 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.
“Other things recovered were 347 rounds of 9mm ammunition, eight bags of Urea Nitrate fertiliser, two generators, four improvised explosive devices, 395 Sniper ammo and 60m of Cortex wire.
“Four containers of sodium oxide, one potassium chloride, three lead nitrate, two aluminium metal powder, one remote control, chromic cat-cut and white sulphurs were also discovered.”
Speaking with newsmen at the headquarters of the STF, one of the women arrested, Hauwa Mohammed, said she was brought to the house by some people from Damaturu in Yobe State on the grounds that they were searching for her missing husband.
She, however, said when she insisted on knowing the whereabouts of her husband, she was told that he had died in an accident in Abuja.
She added that those who brought her to the house travelled out of town a day before the security operatives stormed the building.
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