Earlier, 20 civilians casualties of the almost 18-hour confrontation between the JTF and suspected boko haram members were brought into the Sani Abacha General Hospital.
They were brought in by soldiers who are trying to clear the streets of the dead and wounded.
Several wounded victims in need of medical attention have also been calling medical and police authorities for help as the curfew has kept them from seeking aid on their own.
One of these, Musa Isa, a senior staff at the state’s ministry of animal and fisheries who sustained bullet wounds told Daily Trust by phone that he is hiding out in a house in Nasarawa wardwhere he was able to take refuge after being shot.
The commissioner of Police has confirmed to Daily Trust that three policemen have been killed while four others sustained injuries during the confrontation.
Daily trust quoted an unnamed hospital source earlier who said at least one mobile policeman was brought in dead this morning.
UPDATE 3: A source at the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital, Damaturu confirmed that trouble started at the hospital around 5pm when some soldiers took a suspected member of the sect to the hospital for treatment.
“He was brought to the Accident and Emergency section with some bullet wounds for treatment. He was alive when they brought him. However, when we were about treating him, we heard endless gunshots behind the perimeter fence of the hospital. Some of the soldiers mobilized to the direction of the gunshots and fired back while the remaining soldiers took the suspect away,” the source said.
“It was from here that the fighting escalated to many parts of the city in what looked like a series of coordinated attacks,” the source added.
UPDATE 2: The Divisional Police station at the Central Roundabout, Damaturu, several patrol vehicles of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and churches were set ablaze. Some churches in the Jerusalem ward were badly affected.
UPDATE 1: It is not immediately clear if any casualty has been recorded as officials refused to confirm or deny casualties recorded by eye witnesses who claimed over 10 lives have been lost in an ensuing gun battle between the JTF and the attackers.
Report reaching us says explosion and gunfire went off on Monday in Sabon Pegi area of Damaturu, Yobe state.
The bombing and shooting reportedly started around 5pm.
Residents of the city say they are panicked and grief stricken and have locked themselves up in their homes.
“It all started about 20 minutes ago, and there have been bombings and shootings throughout the city,” one resident said by phone. “Nobody knows what is going on. Everybody has moved indoors.” Another resident gave a similar account, while police could not be immediately reached for comment.
Another witness said he had heard more than 11 blasts.
JTF commander, Col. Dahiru Abdulsalam said there are reports that Boko Haram members were presently hiding out within a primary school.
He also said that his men have moved into the town and the situation has been brought under control.
A witness said the attackers are attempting to take over the government house, adding there was also an explosion at the Potiskum Prison, also in the state.
The men (JTF) are few and have been overwhelmed by the number of the attackers, he said.
More details later…