Two commanders of the Boko Haram sect were killed in an operation by the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Maiduguri, capital of the restive state of Borno in northeastern Nigeria, the military said Thursday.
|Kaunda mourns the death of wife|
"They were top commanders coordinating activities of the sect in Mubi and Yola in northeastern states of Yobe and Adamawa," he said, adding the duo were trailed by a combined team of security operatives for many hours before they attempted to escape.
According to Musa, the suspects were on their way to Damaturu, capital of Yobe State, for a planned "special operation" to attack civilians and military locations.
"Intelligence reports indicated they were also planning to conduct an attack on Maiduguri soon," he explained.
The military spokesperson said a number of items including weapons and a Honda salon car were recovered from the operation, adding the JTF had also arrested eight suspected members of the group in an earlier operation in the Maiduguri metropolis.
"Those arrested were confirmed to have found their way to Maiduguri from neighboring states," he said.
Meanwhile Zambia's founding president Kenneth Kaunda on Thursday paid tribute to his wife, Betty, who died in the Zimbabwean capital Harare the previous day, saying her death is a big blow to the family and the country as a whole.
Kaunda was speaking at a memorial church service held for his wife in Harare.
Speaking before the body of his late wife left for Zambia Thursday afternoon, Kaunda said his wife, 66, helped him achieve all he did in a wonderful way.
He said she took care of the children by selling charcoal while he was in prison and later, when he became President she supported him morally and spiritually.
Minister of State Security Sydney Sekeramayi, who spoke on behalf of the Zimbabwean government, said Zambia under the leadership of Dr Kaunda did a lot to assist Zimbabwe become independent.
He said such assistance was rendered possible by the supporting hand Dr Kaunda received from his late wife who left behind a legacy of serving people.
Zambian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ndiyoi Mutiti, who spoke on behalf of the Kaunda family and the Zambian community, commended Zimbabwe for standing by Zambia in the face of such a tragedy.
She said the Zambian government appreciates and cherishes the assistance rendered by the Zimbabwean government after the passing on of Mrs Kaunda.
Mrs Kaunda's body was flown in the afternoon to Zambia and will be buried at Chinsali in the Northern Province of Zambia.
Zimbabwean Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development Nicholas Goche and Amai Victoria Chitepo are among the government officials who accompanied the Kaunda family to Zambia.
Mrs Kaunda died on Wednesday at her daughter, Mrs Musata Kaunda- Banda's home in Borrowdale, Harare. She had a long history of diabetes and high blood pressure. She is survived by nine children, two girls and seven boys and several grandchildren.
Present at the memorial church service to bid farewell to Mrs Kaunda were Minister of Media, Information and Publicity Cde Webster Shamu, Minister of Transport, Communication and Infrastructural Development Cde Nicholas Goche, service chiefs, senior government officials among other dignitaries.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday visited Kaunda's home in Borrowdale to express his condolences. Vice President Joice Mujuru extended her condolences on Thursday morning.(Xinhua)