A suicide bomber in a Honda C-RV loaded with explosives yesterday rammed into a military veicle in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, killing six soldiers and three civilians. The bomber also died in the attack, witnesses said.
The Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, also known as Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility.
Witnesses said the incident took place around 12 noon at Shagari Low-Cost junction in Damaturu. Following the blast, most residents hurriedly rushed back to their homes as JTF operatives fired gunshots continuously into the air.
It was gathered that the suicide bomber parked his vehicle by the road side waiting for the JTF patrol team which he suspected was trailing him, and suddenly detornated the explosives as the patrol team they approached him.
One witness who has a shop close to the scene said: “I saw him (suicide bomber) when he parked a CR-V jeep by the roadside. When the army vehicles vehicle approached, he suddenly crashed into one of them. Many people were affected by the heavy explosion, including one of our shop attendants who was killed instantly by the effect of the blast. The other attendant sustained serious injuries.”
Yobe state police commissioner Mr. Patrick Egbuniwe confirmed the incident, saying two military patrol vehicles suspected a Honda CRV and trailed the speeding driver, not knowing that the vehicle was loaded with explosives.
“As they stopped him, the EIDs detonated and killed six soldiers, injured one soldier and a civilian,” he said.
Military men were seen clearing the wreckage of the vehicle and the mutilated body parts of the soldiers after cordoning the area.
A hospital source told us that six corpses of military men and one civilian were deposited at the morgue.
Witnesses also said two tricycles conveying passengers were hit by the blast and two people including a retired vehicle inspection officer (VIO) called Malam Baba Fada were killed. There was no official confirmation of the killing of the two.
One resident reported that mutilated body parts were hurled into nearby houses. “I found a human arm at my backyard and I decided to leave the house so that the military men will pick it by themselves,” he told our reporter.