Commissioner of Police in Yobe, Alhaji Sanusi Rufai, said five policemen and 20 gunmen had been confirmed dead with over N9m carted away from a commercial bank during the attack by Islamic Boko Haram terrorists in Gashua, Yobe on Thursday.
The commissioner, who made the disclosure while briefing newsmen in Damaturu, said two policemen also sustained injuries and were currently receiving treatment.
He explained that the gunmen had earlier seized the bank manager, forcing him to open the vault where the money was carted away together with a Peugeot 406 and Toyota Corolla cars.
Rufai said police and military men later engaged the gunmen in a gun battle, recovering the two cars and an Isuzu Hilux van, belonging to the terrorists.
The commissioner said two guns, two locally made pistols; two long range rifles; 19 hand grenades and assorted ammunition were also recovered from the gunmen.
He said one of the gunmen was captured and was now assisting the police with information on the attack.
“It is the same group using police and military uniforms that attacked Tarmuwa, Gulani and Giedam in recent times,” Rufai said.
But the Joint Task Force on security said two policemen and five suspected terrorists died in an attack.
It could not be ascertained if the seven victims were part of the 25 that died in the same town.
The JTF said the policemen and terrorists lost their lives during an attack on security formations by suspected Islamic Boko Haram members at Gashua in the Bade Local Government Area of Yobe State.
The spokesman for the JTF, Lt. Eli Lazarus, in a statement said some of the attackers escaped with gunshot wounds and appealed to the public, particularly medical personnel, not to treat any one with gunshot wounds.
“Those that escaped with gunshot wounds also carted away two vehicles, police uniforms and other items from the police station,” he said.
The statement added that the JTF was conducting “cordon and search” operation in Gashua to fish out any of the gunmen probably hiding in the village.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has enlisted the support of the United States to end the violence in the north.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, made the request at a meeting with the Secretary of State, John Kerry, in the US.
The minister said, “There are so many challenges we face in our country which the Secretary of State has already mentioned and we believe that with the support of the US, we will overcome the challenge in not too distant future and we hope in our meeting today we will be able to discuss all the areas to further improve in our bilateral relations with the US.”
Kerry, who expressed joy at receiving Ashiru, said the US had “a close association and working partnership with Nigeria”.