Boko Haram fighters on Wednesday seized the mobile police training college in Limankara, near Gwoza, Borno State, our correspondent gathered yesterday.
Spokesman of the Borno State police command, Superintendent Gideon Jibrin, confirmed the attack but said he had yet to get details.
“The police commissioner has dispatched a team to Gwoza to ascertain what really happened and the number of casualty. Of course this will take some time because there is no GSM communication in Gwoza,” he said.
Sources said at the time of the attack, regular policemen from various units in Gombe and Nasarawa states as well as the Federal Capital Territory were undergoing specialised training at the school.
It is one of the two mobile training schools in the country aside the one in Ila-orangun, Osun State.
Gwoza was taken by the Boko Haram insurgents on August 7.
A source said even before the attack on Gwoza, authorities at the school had been taking measures following threats of an imminent attack.
“Some of the attackers drove from Gwoza and many others descended from the Mandara Mountain and went straight to the training school,” an instructor said.
“Dozens of them armed with guns, rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were given cover and led into the police training facility by five armoured personnel carriers (APC),” he said.
Another police source said there was “fierce battle” between the insurgents and policemen which started at the gate of the training school and thereafter, the fight raged on in all parts of the school.
“The terrorists, dressed in both police and military uniforms, went to the training school in day light and divided themselves into various groups. Some entered the premises by scaling the fence from the rear. Many others attempted going in through the main gate but were confronted.
“The fight at the gate lasted more than an hour before the terrorists blew off the armoured tank that was giving cover to our men at the gate. That was how they succeeded in going into the premises,” he said.
It was not clear how many policemen were undergoing training at the time of the attack but a source said they should be around 350.
Police Force Headquarters spokesman, DCP Emmanuel Ojukwu, confirmed the attack, saying policemen reported the facility being attacked by over 150 insurgents who engaged them in a gun fight.
A report on the BBC Hausa said the insurgents came in three trucks and attacked the college.
“We were sitting by the roadside, when we saw three black TATA vehicles came and went into the college,” a resident said.
“Upon seeing that, we then run away into the bush. But we later heard that they (Boko Haram) chased away all the police in the college.”
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