One person was killed while four others were wounded on Tuesday as smugglers clashed with operatives of the National Border Drill Operations at the Jibia border, Katsina State, according to a report by The Nation Newspaper.
The border drill operations operatives are drawn from the Customs, Air Force, Army, Police and paramilitary agencies.
The Jibia border is closed, as are several others across the country to, among other reasons, keep out smugglers.
The assistant controller General of Customs and Sector 4 Coordinator of the operations, Bashir Abubakar told newsmen that the sector had recently experienced series of interruptions from the members of the public which resulted in loss of life and injuries.
He said, “Government viewed the loss of lives seriously, hence we have been mandated by the office of the National Security Adviser to offer explanations on our activities to the public and lead condolence visits to the victims.
“The public needed to understand that our operations are nationwide and not domiciled in a particular state or region. It is not a total border closure. It is rather an exercise designed to checkmate the proliferation of arms by exacting full control of our borders, to contain smuggling of fuel, insecurity and banditry.”
He further maintained that closing the nation’s borders was also part of economic security measures and to complement the activities of conventional security agencies through joint operational network.
On the Jibia border clash with smugglers, he said following intelligent and covert operations report they were led at about 1am in the morning, to a warehouse that contained over 300 bales of smuggled clothing materials; they were only able to remove 235 bales from the warehouse when the smugglers mobilized the villagers and attacked them.
He said ‘’by the time our troops were leaving the Jibia warehouse, there was a shootout followed by attendant loss of lives caused by stray bullets.”
While appealing for cooperation from members of the community and traditional rulers, he urged them to report the movements and activities of the smugglers, warning on the dangers of supporting smuggling, human trafficking and cross border crimes.
Recall that Katsina Post earlier reported to you that three people were killed and seven others injured during the operation in the early hours of Monday, according to our local sources.