Yobe - No fewer than 16 persons were on Thursday killed in both Damaturu and Potiskum, Yobe state as suspected Boko Haram members continued the destruction of telecommunication masts in Northern Nigeria, a source at the General Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital said.
The Damaturu destruction is coming just 24 hours after same operation was carried out by hoodlums in Maiduguri and Kano.
The destruction of the facilities was accompanied by killings and burning of some structures in the restive Damaturu and Potiskum in Yobe state North East Nigeria.
The state commissioner of police, Patrick Egbuniwe who confirmed the destruction said the coordinated attack started around 8pm through the night as five persons lost their lives during the attack but hospital sources claimed 16 corpses were brought to the hospital for claims by relations.
The commissioner said the masts of Etisalat, Globacom and Airtel in the two towns were burnt by suspected armed hoodlums believed to be members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect, by launching Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and petrol-bombs at the masts.
He said that seven masts were destroyed in Damaturu while Potiskum loss Five.
Mr Egbuniwe said the attackers also razed down the offices of Yobe state Ministry of Religious Affairs, the state Pilgrims Welfare Board, Hajj Camp, Local Government INEC Office and most of the structures at the Government Secondary School Damaturu believe to be the most populated public school in the state capital.
He said one of the Fire fighting vehicles of the state fire service was also burnt by the assailants.
The Joint Taskforce (JTF) in the state confirmed that four suspects have been arrested and are being interrogated in connection with the recent attacks.
The suspects according to the JTF were arrested along Gujba road in an attempt to lunch another attack on a mast along the road.
The coordinated destruction of telecommunication facilities is the first to be carried out in the state since the commencement of the insurgency.
Thursday’s vandalisation disrupted smooth communication within and outside the state capital as the only surviving network the MTN was erratic throughout the day.