LAGOS (AA) – Nigerian authorities said Sunday that at least 35 policemen have gone missing following last week’s militant attack on a police training school in Gwoza town in the restive northeastern Borno state.
“Thirty five policemen who are still missing from the facility as a result of the latest attack are being searched for with very promising prospect of locating them,” police spokesman Emmanuel Ojukwu said in a statement posted on the agency’s website.
Last week, Boko Haram militants seized a mobile police training school just on the outskirts of Gwoza.
Ojukwu said security has been tightened around all police training camps nationwide following last week’s attack.
He said that senior police officers caught in the attack have been brought to safety by a “search and rescue party launched immediately” following the attack.
The spokesman, however, remained silent on whether or not the insurgents had captured the school following the raid, though AA learnt from security sources that Boko Haram has kept the control of the facility.
“As at noon today the terrorists remain in control of the PMF (Police Mobile Force) training camp in Gwoza but efforts are on to dislodge them,” according to an army captain in Maiduguri, the provincial capital of Borno state.
“We are collaborating with the police to recapture the facility,” he said.
The school is one of the two police mobile force’s training facilities across Nigeria.
Nigeria is battling a five-year insurgency which seems to have defied almost two years of intense military operations designed to flush out the militants from the northern region.
Boko Haram became uncontrollably violent in 2009 after its leader Mohammed Yusuf was killed in police custody – hours after being captured alive along with a few of his lieutenants.
Nigeria, Turkey and the United States have designated the group a terrorist organization.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has a $7 million bounty placed on his head by Washington.
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