Seven suspected Boko Haram terrorists were on Monday killed when an Improvised Explosive Device hidden in a Toyota Pick-upvan they were driving in exploded before they could get to Biu Market, Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
A security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity with our correspondent from Biu, said the suspected terrorists hid the explosives among bags of beans and maize to create the impression that they were traders going to the market. But the IEDs exploded before they could get to the market, which the source said was their main target.
He said, “A Toyota pickup van loaded with maize and beans with IED hidden under it belonging to Boko Haram insurgents exploded near Chikwarkir village of Biu killing all its seven occupants.
“The insurgents must have intended to sneak into Biu Market to detonate the explosives and thereby kill many people. As you know, it is harvest period and people are taking their farm produce to the market but thank God the bomb exploded before they could get to the market.”
The soldier said that the insurgents must have specifically chosen Monday because they knew that Monday and Thursday were market days in Biu town, the headquarters of Biu Local Government Area of the state.
A transporter, Yusuf Ahmed, said they saw on Monday the corpses of the dead Boko Haram members along the roadside near Chikwarkir village.
He said, “We thought they were victims of an auto crash but the villagers told us they were members of Boko Haram sect that were trying to carry explosives to Biu Market but it exploded before they even got to Biu.”
In a related development, scores of people were also said to have been killed and houses and shops burnt when Boko Haram insurgents attacked Kautikari village in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State.
A resident of the area, who fled to Biu, told our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday that the insurgents stormed the village on Monday night and killed scores of people and burnt some houses and shops.
He said, “We had to flee to the bush in the night before returning to the village the following day to pick our belongings.”