From Molly Kilete, Abuja
More revelations have emerged about how two officers and eight soldiers were killed by gunmen suspected to be terrorists while on internal security operations at the Nigerian Law School, Bwari, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The officers and soldiers from Guards Brigade, Nigerian Army, were killed by the gunmen who attacked their mini operational base in the area.
Their death has thrown the entire Nigerian army, Guards Brigade and the 7 Guards Battalion, which was their mother unit into a mourning mood as officers, soldiers, and their bereaved families express shock at the incident which is coming weeks after the Kuje prison attack.
The bodies of the deceased personnel comprising two officers and eight soldiers have been recovered and deposited in one of the mortuaries as the authorities are making contact with their families on burial arrangements.
It was gathered that the officers and soldiers were killed in a commando-style manner as nobody in the area heard the sound of a gunshot during the attack on the soldiers. A top military source said the authorities are still finding it very difficult to believe how the killers got all their targets and escaped.
The source said there are suspicions that the killing must have been carried out by a sniper to have gotten all their targets killed.
The source, however, said that investigation has commenced to unravel the circumstances surrounding the attack and get the perpetrators arrested.
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According to the source “we are still finding it difficult to believe what happened because this is a very big blow to us and come to think that it is happening in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“So far, we have recovered all the bodies of the two officers and eight soldiers and are making contact with their families some of who are not in Abuja. The attack claimed 2×8 personnel. As you know, we cannot bury them without the consent of their family members and Next of Kins. So as soon as we are through with that, we will make plans for the burial,” the source said.
It was gathered that most of the soldiers killed in the Bwari attack were members of 80 Regular Recruit Intake(80 RRI), while one of the officers was a Regular Combatant officer of the Nigerian Defence Academy, and the other a Direct Short Service officer.
There has been no official reaction from the Nigerian army over the attack, as the Chief Of Army Staff(COAS), Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya, who was on a tour of operations in the North East returned to Abuja on Tuesday.
When contacted via phone, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachuku, did not respond. He also did not respond to a text message sent to his mobile phone at the time of filing this report. However, the Guards Brigade public relations officer, Captain Geoffrey Abakpa, Monday confirmed the attack and said troops were combing the area to arrest the attackers.
For some time now, Abuja, FCT, has come under attack by terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other criminal groups who have been terrorizing residents of the local communities of Kuje, Kwali, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Abaji and other communities with their activities. There have been incessant cases of kidnapping for ransom where several traditional rulers and community heads have been kidnapped by gunmen who invaded their communities.
It was gathered that an ongoing offensive being carried out by the military in Niger state, is forcing the criminals to relocate to the FCT.
Only last month, intelligence reports indicated an impending attack on the Nigerian Law School Bwari and other facilities in the satellite town.
The Guards Brigade, which is in charge of the security of the president and his immediate family, the vice president, VIPs as well as the security of Abuja and its surrounding states, had deployed massively to Bwari to foil the attack on the law school only for the terrorists to hit the Kuje prison. The terrorists had during the attack, freed over 800, inmates including their members from the facility during an operation that was said to have lasted over two hours without confrontation.
Soldiers on duty at the prison on the day of the attack have since been arrested and taken into custody at the Special Investigation Bureau (SIB), located at Shehu Yaradua Barracks in Abuja, where they are undergoing interrogation.