Leadership (Abuja)

2 April 2014

Nigeria: Four Suicide Bombers Die in Maiduguri, As Army Seizes 288 Rifles

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Four terrorists believed to be suicide bombers, apparently heading for an NNPC facility along the Maiduguri-Damboa road, have died in their IED-laden vehicles. The explosions took place at Mule on the outskirts of Maiduguri.

According to a statement issued today in Abuja by Defence Headquarters and signed by its director of information, Major General Chris Olukolade, "Three of the four explosive-laden vehicles were demobilized by shots fired at them by soldiers at the checkpoint shortly before the explosions that rocked the area".

Five soldiers were wounded while the civilian casualties are yet to be determined.

Triple explosion rocks Maiduguri again, FM RADIO house affected

Three explosions from improvised explosive devices yesterday went off in Mulai, a suburb of Maiduguri, destroying the perimeter fencing of Peace-FM Radio belonging to the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigerian (FRCN). It was feared to have affected many residents of the area.

Details of possible human casualty could not be immediately ascertained as at the time of filing this report, but a security official who pleaded anonymity said the number would be high.

The blasts occurred about 2pm. It echoed into some parts of Maiduguri, while those who did not hear the thunderous blast believed it was an April-fool joke.

A senior security official that confirmed the blasts said, "We had another unfortunate incident today; some three explosions occurred at Mulai village along the Maiduguri -Damboa road. We cannot ascertain for now the extent of the damage, even though one cannot rule out a number of casualties, given the massive impact of the explosion. But I cannot confirm that it has destroyed the perimeter fencing of the Peace FM Radio house located In Mulai."

Mulai community is situated about 5km away from Maiduguri, along the Damoba- Maiduguri federal highway leading to the southern part of Borno State.

Calls put across to the manager of Peace FM, Maiduguri, Alhaji Yusuf Buba, in a bid to get clear information concerning his station, didn't go through.

5 soldiers wounded, 15 civilians killed

About 15 civilians were yesterday killed and five soldiers seriously injured after four suicide bombers driving in separate cars attempted to run down a military check post along the Damboa-Maiduguri highway at the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State capital, security sources and witnesses said.

Though details of the attack were sketchy at press time , LEADERSHIP gathered that several other civilians, especially travellers were also left with serious injuries.

288 rifles, 35 rockets seized from terrorists in Cameroon

The Cameroonian security forces made a huge seizure of arms apparently meant for use by terrorists operating in Nigeria last weekend. This is a confirmation of our exclusive story at the weekend.

Over 288 rifles and 35 rocket-propelled guns as well as 35 locally made improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were recovered after a fierce encounter at Abugasse, Cameroon, close to the Chadian border.

Other weapons recovered included pistols, mortar bombs, sub-machine guns and various calibres of ammunition following the arrest of two suspects believed to be major arms suppliers to the terrorists in Nigeria. They were nabbed in Abugasse, near the Chadian border with Cameroon. Also in their possession were over 50 Cameroonian passports as well as a Toyota Jeep.

According to a statement issued by the Defence Headquarters and signed by its spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade, it was a boost to the quest of Nigeria to secure support of all the governments in the sub-region in the ongoing counter-insurgent operations.

"It will be recalled that the Cameroonian authorities recently pledged to back Nigeria's counter-terrorism efforts. Also, the renewed offensive on terrorists by Nigerian troops have continued to record a series of arrests of terrorists and recovery of arms especially close to the nation's border with Cameroon. Apart from arms recovered following disclosure from captured terrorists lately, more arms have been captured in the ongoing offensive in different fronts.

"The arrest at a check point of a terrorist driving in a green Peugeot vehicle with registration Number Bauchi 264 AA heading to Maiduguri from Alagarno during the weekend led to the recovery of 15 AK47 rifles and 12 magazines and various yet to be assembled rifles," the military stated.

According to the Defence Headquarters, the offensive on terrorists in various fronts is continuing. "The Alagarno area as well as various points of Sambisa forest and suburbs has been witnessing intense operations since Monday. Apart from several dead terrorists, 14 vehicles which were either being used for operation or hidden by the terrorists in various parts of the forests and theatres have been destroyed. Various calibres of weapons and ammunition were also recovered in the course of fighting and subsequent cordon-and-search of the areas. Intensive air and ground surveillance is also ongoing in the general area."

Committee recommends establishment of military barracks in 'Rugu' forest

The Katsina State government committee on the recent gun attacks in Faskari and Sabuwa local government areas has called for the establishment of military barracks in "Rugu" forest to provide security for nearby communities.

The committee chairman, Brig.-Gen. Maharazu Tsiga (rtd), made the call in Katsina on Tuesday while submitting a report to Gov. Ibrahim Shema.

He said that it had become necessary because of the number of people killed, injured and property lost in the attacks.

Tsiga urged the state and federal governments to equip security agents with logistics to adequately provide security for lives and property.

He advised the state government to take measures that would discourage illegal possession of arms by people in the area.

Tsiga urged the federal government to raid the forest as directed by President Goodluck Jonathan during his two-day visit to the state.

The committee chairman observed that the release of hardened criminals on bail had contributed greatly to the increase in criminal activities in the area.

He also advised the government to demarcate grazing lands for herdsmen as part of measures to avert Fulani and farmers' clashes, which had become rampant in the area.

Tsiga urged the state government to look into the activities of vigilance groups in the areas and strengthen border patrols.

The committee urged the state government to offer financial assistance to victims' families and called on stakeholders to join hands to make the area peaceful.

Responding, Shema promised that the recommendations would be presented to the State Executive Council meeting on Wednesday for adoption.

He commended the committee members for their effort in carrying out the assignment.

He urged the people to continue to live in peace with one another and report any suspicious movement of criminals to the relevant authorities.

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