The Nigerian Army has said that a commercial tricycle, known in local parlance as Keke NAPEP, detonated a bomb when it unknowingly ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) planted by the side of the Biu-Damboa road, close to a military checkpoint on the outskirts of Biu town, Borno State.
A statement issued by the Nigerian Army spokesman, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, said the incident occurred at 8.15 am yesterday.
“Unfortunately, the IED exploded instantly killing four persons comprising a woman and her baby and two other male adults.
“Three other persons were injured including a soldier and they were immediately evacuated to Biu General Hospital. We regret to state that the injured soldier also died at the hospital,” Usman said in the statement.
He said the general area was immediately cordoned off and the Explosives Ordinance Device (EOD) team from the Forward Operation Base (FOB) in Buratai was mobilised to carry out a further search of the area.
“Preliminary investigations show that the IED was buried a long time ago undetected. It exploded when the tricycle erroneously ran over it,” he added.
The army commiserated with the families of the victims of the incident, noting that the unfortunate development brought to the fore the need for more security consciousness and vigilance among Nigerians.
“We would like to reiterate that the explosion would not deter us from seeing to the end of Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be hiding through our ongoing clearance operations.
“We want to use this opportunity to solicit for more cooperation from the public to enable us succeed in the fight against the remnants of these criminal elements going by the appellation ‘Boko Haram’,” he said.