IGP, Mohammed Abubakar
Pandemonium erupted Wednesday in some parts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, when a bomb explosion and sporadic gunshots were heard, following the planting of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) near a patrol vehicle of the Joint Task Force (JTF) by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect.
The incident was said to have occurred at Gwange axis of the town, where a one-time civil war hero, Major General Muhammadu Shuwa, was shot dead in his residence recently.
Though nobody died in the incident, which occurred at about 8 a.m. along the major road linking Gwange/London Ciki wards of Maiduguri metropolis, it was gathered that the JTF’s patrol vehicle was badly damaged.
However, a resident of the area told journalists that the bomb blast, believed to have been planted by the sect’s members had exploded few metres away from the JTF vehicle, which was patrolling the area at about 8 a.m.
The loud explosion, according to the resident, however, caused the smashing of the patrol van’s windscreen, as well as the denting of some parts of the vehicle.
It was gathered that the explosion was greeted by an exchange of gunfire between the sect members and the military, which lasted for about 20 minutes, thereby causing pandemonium as residents scampered to safety.
JTF’s spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, while confirming the incident to journalists, said at about 8:35 a.m. yesterday, there was a failed IED attack on a JTF patrol vehicle along Gwange/Costain area of Maiduguri metropolis.
Musa said an IED remote control bomb targeted at JTF vehicle was planted and buried on the road by suspected Boko Haram members.
He added that no casualty was recorded as nobody was killed or wounded during the incident.
The JTF spokesman also hinted that the area had been cordoned off, while searched and swept by the bomb disposal arm of the JTF, pointing out that normalcy has since been restored in the area.