Three dead in suicide attack in northeast Nigeria


“He disguised himself like a farmer… he was stopped at the check post when the blast went off,” says eyewitness.

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria – At least three members of a local vigilante group were killed Saturday after a suicide bomber attacked a security checkpoint at a village in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state, according to officials and locals.

“Three members of the Civilian Joint Task Force died on Saturday evening when a male suicide bomber riding a bicycle attacked a checkpoint at Bale village, near Giwa military barracks in Maiduguri,” Baba Shehu, one of the local vigilante group’s officials, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.

He said the blast occurred around 6.30 pm local time.

“Four people, including the terrorist, died. Five people were also injured,” he said.

Hassan Ubah, a resident of the village just three kilometers from Maiduguri, said the bomber was disguised as a local farmer.

“Nobody knew he was a suicide bomber. He disguised himself like a farmer. He was riding a bicycle with baskets full of yam and maize. But, as usual, he was stopped at the check post when the blast went off,” according to Ubah who also confirmed that three vigilante members had been killed.

No group has claimed responsibility for the incident but Boko Haram is believed to be at the root of such violence in the region.

Faced with heavy military bombardments, the group has resorted to suicide bombing and hit-and-run attacks on soft targets in the region.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has said his primary assignment would be to crush the militants whose activities have made the northeast a near ghost region.

A multinational military alliance comprised of Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria is due to go into full operation in the next few weeks, aiming to strengthen their cooperation and decimate Boko Haram’s operational capabilities, especially in border areas.