Saturday, February 14, 2015 2:26 pm
The governor of Nigeria’s Gombe state on Saturday imposed a 24-hour curfew after an attack by Boko Haram gunmen, his spokesman said.
“Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo has directed that a 24-hour curfew be imposed on Gombe as a result of the security breach in the city,” Ayuba Aluke told AFP, referring to the state capital of the same name but specifying that the curfew would be in effect statewide.
“By this announcement residents are to remain indoors until further notice as security operatives work to restore law and order in the city,” he said.
Hundreds of Boko Haram fighters were said to have stormed the town at about 9 a.m today, shooting indiscriminately.
Reuters reporter in the city reported explosions and gunfire after the fighters overwhelmed a checkpoint at the edge of the city, which has been bombed before but has never had the insurgents attempt to take it over.
Witness Abdul Hassan said soldiers ran away after the checkpoint was overwhelmed. The militants then burned down a police station on the outskirts of town, he said.
“I crossed a river and ran into the hills,” he said. “I’m still there and I can hear the fighting.”
Others were staying in doors. Witness Hussaina Maji said she was unable to leave her house for fear of being caught in cross fire.
“There are gun shot sounds everywhere and heavy artillery fire. People are running down the streets from the area which under attack, The whole town is in a state of panic,” resident Godfret Obeate told Reuters by telephone.
The terrorists reportedly occupied the military barracks in the town and distributed pamphlets to residents calling for a boycott of the election.
The general elections scheduled to begin today has been postponed till 28 March and 11 April.