Another Borno town, Konduga suffered casualties yesterday when a bomb believed to have been planted in a pickup van loaded with firewood exploded and killed five persons, injuring several others at a checkpoint manned by members of the Civilian JTF and police officials.
Disclosing the sad incident to journalists in Maiduguri, eyewitnesses and security operatives said the pickup van had approached the checkpoint at about noon and as the local security operatives tried to flag down the car, the driver who was on a suicide mission detonated the explosive device that led to the death of five persons among who was a plain clothe police officer from the Criminal Investigation Bureau.
It would be recalled that this new explosion came hours after Boko Haram terrorists suffered heavy casualty in two different military offensives that took place on Thursday night and Friday morning. A top security source who spoke anonymously told journalists in a phone chat that: “There was a blast targeted at the members of the Civilian-JTF manning a checkpoint in Konduga, about five persons were reportedly killed and several others injured." It was gathered that the attack on Konduga took place few hours after Boko Haram gunmen had attempted to attack a military base in Damboa town, 85km south of Maiduguri the Borno State capital, but ended up with heavy casualty.
According to the anonymous account of the security officer, the Boko Haram gunmen were on a reprisal mission hours after an air force jet bombarded a hideout of the insurgents in Yajiwa and Alagarno areas of Damboa local government area killing scores of the terrorists. “It was a successful air raid carried out by the air force in conjunction with the ground troops of the Nigeria army from Division 7. During the air raid that took place on Thursday evening, the Boko Haram suffered heavy casualty as dozens of them were killed.
Angered by the devastation they suffered, the insurgents decided to mobilise in full force with an attempt to attack the base in Damboa, but unknown to them, the soldiers there were fully aware and alert about possible reprisal attack. And when they eventually surfaced on Friday morning in over ten vehicles, the soldiers took them by surprise and engaged them in a fierce shoot out that claimed over 50 of them”, said the source.