Wednesday, April 2, 2014

15 civilians dead, 5 Soldiers Injured As Suicide Bombers Hit Military Vehicle in Maiduguri

Maiduguri has been the site of attacks on the Giwa Barracks led by the Boko Haram Islamic sect in recent weeks.

Nigerian military officials re-took the Giwa Barracks in a tense fire-fight in recent days, capturing and killing several members of the sect. It is unclear what this recent unprovoked attack is linked to. Yesterday, at least 15 civilians died and five soldiers got injured after four daredevil suicide bombers ran their vehicles into soldiers at a major checkpoint along the Maiduguri-Biu highway. Below is how PremuimTimes reported the 
story
Security sources in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, Tuesday, confirmed that at least 15 civilians died and five soldiers got injured after four daredevil suicide bombers ran their vehicles into soldiers at a major checkpoint along the Maiduguri-Biu highway. 
The incident which occurred at Mulai village, along the Damboa-Maiduguri highway, at about 2 p.m. Tuesday, also left two of the soldiers dead and several other civilians seriously injured. 
Two other suspected Boko Haram members, who were not able to detonate their wired vehicles, were however shot dead by soldiers at the check post. More after the jump.................
But a youth-vigilante operative, otherwise known and Civilian-JTF, told PREMIUM TIMES that even the two vehicles that rammed unto the parked vehicles of the military could have been stopped had the soldiers quickly acted on their warning when they sighted the vehicles advancing at neck-break speed towards the checkpoint. 
The Civilian-JTF, who was not happy with the reaction of the soldiers towards the early warning they sent across to them as the cars advanced, said his team’s attention was attracted to the vehicles by their all flat tyres. 
“It was their flat tyres that even attracted our attention when they drove past; and we began to shout to the soldiers to shoot at them, as they were all increasing their speed, but the soldiers did not respond on time; just like a movie, we all watched how they ran into the packed vehicles of the soldiers at the check post and they blew off. The other two could not get to their target before the soldiers eventually shot them dead”, said the Civilian-JTF member. 
A senior security official, however told PREMIUM TIMES that “it was a bad incident today; we recorded the dead of about 15 civilians, while five soldiers were seriously injured; and the two suicide bombers had died, while the other two who could not complete their wicked mission were also gunned down”,  
Some persons conversant with the Saharan terrain explained that the suicide bombers drove with flat tyres perhaps to enable them drive through the sandy plains that characterise areas like Sambisa without getting stuck. 
Sources at the General Hospital Maiduguri, otherwise known as State Specialist Hospital, said several corpses were brought to the hospital in the afternoon of Tuesday shortly after residents heard the blasts.
The Nigerian military also confirmed that 15 civilians were killed in the attack.
In its official version of the incident, the military said on Tuesday that 15 civilians and six terrorists were killed in the attack targeted at an NNPC facility in Maiduguri, Borno State.
A statement by the Director of Defence Information, Chris Olukolade, said while 17 people were wounded in the attack, a member of the Youth Vigilante Group was among the 15 civilians that were killed.
In an earlier statement, Mr. Olukolade had said that eight vehicles were destroyed in the attack that led to the arrest of one of the terrorists.
Mr. Olukolade, a Major General, noted that the explosion, which occurred at Mulai, the outskirt of Maiduguri, left five soldiers wounded.
He also said that three of the four explosive-laden vehicles were demobilised by shots fired at them by soldiers at the checkpoint shortly before the explosions that rocked the area.

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