Fidelis Soriwei and David Attah .THE PUNCH.May 30, 2013
Four foreign nationals, suspected to have hailed from Middle East, were arrested in Kano by the Joint Task Force over a large cache of arms and ammunition uncovered in their mini-warehouse located in the Bompai area of Kano on Wednesday.
Following the shock discovery, owner of the complex, where the dangerous weapons were impounded, simply identified as a Lebanese national, was arrested by military personnel.
As of the time of filing this report, the building, located on Gaya road in Bompai area of the metropolis, was under surveillance by heavily armed, stern-looking soldiers.
Security sources disclosed that items recovered from the extensive operation included 40 air-to-surface missiles, 50 cluster bombs, 200 rocket-propel launchers, eight AK-47 rifles, 200 military hand grenades and some military hardware capable of destroying Armoured Personnel Carriers.
The “weapons of war” were said to have been evacuated to the headquarters of the 3rd Motorised Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Kano, alongside the foreign nationals.
It was learnt that preliminary investigation had begun while “three countries have been indicted and the military high command is working to ascertain the culpability.”
A resident of the area, said he counted over “300 AK-47 riffles” during the evacuation.
Spokesman for the JTF Captain Ikedichi Iweha, promised to brief newsmen later on the issue, even as he declined comment on the incident, which occurred on Tuesday night.
“You would get the details tomorrow (Thursday) because of the Democracy Day celebration. We have resolved to talk to you after the break,” he said.
According to him, as a result of the Democracy Day celebration, security was fortified in the commercial city of Kano, with increased vehicular patrols by the military, JTF operatives and the police, as part of the measures to sustain relative peace in the city.
Meanwhile, the JTF has arrested 50 terror suspects in Borno State with the aid of special dogs, says the Director of Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade.
Olukolade said in a statement on Wednesday that the terror suspects were arrested with the help of specially trained dogs while trying to infiltrate Maiduguri.
The Defence spokesman said 15 of those arrested were caught with arms concealed either in their bodies or their properties.
He said various attempts by terror suspects, who were dislodged from their camps in the forest in Borno to enter the cities and towns of the North-East, had been thwarted with the aid of the dogs
Olukolade said, “Trained Military Police dogs are participating in the cordon and search phase of special operations against terrorism in the country.
“The efforts of the specially trained dogs have so far led to the arrest of over 50 terrorists who were trying to infiltrate Maiduguri.”