Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Boko Haram ran an ex- plosives-laden vehicle into a convoy of vehicles in Maiduguri, capital of Borno State, Tuesday evening and killed seven people in the process.
Security sources and residents said a convoy of vehicles, led by military escorts, were cleared at a military checkpoint in Molai, a suburb of Maiduguri at about 6:30pm, on Tuesday, unknown to the troops that some Boko Haram vehicles had infiltrated the convoy.
Sources also said one of the insurgents’ vehicles was laced with explosives which hit a military vehicle at the end of the convoy.
The explosives in the Boko Haram vehicle went off with a loud sound, causing confusion and fire, a military source told Daily Sun, yesterday. The source added that some Boko Haram drove in immediately and started firing sporadically.
“We saw some Boko Haram firing and we started running into different direction.
“Nobody understood what was happening be- cause they kept firing. We fled our homes,” Mohammed Saleh, a resident of Molai said.
The insurgents reportedly moved into the community and set fire on houses, shops and a local market there. A middle-age woman who came to the area on visitation was burnt alive in a
house, some residents said. Residents said they were about to break their fast when the insurgents struck.
Military troops were later deployed to the scene, just as a fighter jet hovered around the area for nearly 30 minutes, to push back the insurgents. Scores of residents fled their homes, thereafter.
Residents said seven corpses were evacuated after the attack but security sources said the casualty figure could be higher.
Some residents claimed they saw dead bodies of four soldiers being evacuated late Tuesday night, although the military did not confirm the claim.
Dozens of houses and shops were burnt even as relations of the victims said
they are planning to bury their dead.
Most of the residents returned homes early yesterday, to see the rubbles of their houses and shops.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) declined to comment on the incident, and said it was a security issue.
Neither the military nor police authorities in the state have spoken about the attack.
Molai has experienced more than five attacks in nearly a decade of insurgency in Borno.
Last week, two explosives were thrown into a public hospital in the area; by suspected Boko Haram, although there was no casualty.