FOUR people suspected to be Boko Haram suicide bombers riding in a tricycle were killed on Saturday, July 11, 2015 morning by the explosives they were carrying after a failed attempt to enter a large bus station in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.
Three other people were reportedly injured as the explosion from the bomb resonated all over Maiduguri at about 7.11am.
According to witnesses, the bombers went after a passenger bus that was coming out of the Borno Express Terminus filled with travellers, but they could not detonate the device on time.
The Keke-NAPEP (tricycle) later exploded, killing all the occupants, except one that managed to alight shortly after the vehicle hit the rear of the moving passenger bus.
Witnesses said the suicide bombers wanted to enter the terminus to detonate the bomb, but were stopped by security operatives at the entrance gate, who asked them to park outside, as tricycles were not allowed into the park.
The bombers made another failed attempt through the exit gate, which was about 300 meter apart.
The obviously frustrated suicide bombers on realising that they were running out of time, allegedly decided to take it into a bus that had loaded its passengers and was trying to leave the terminus.
The tricycle driver drove after the bus and tried to ram into its rear, but the bus driver sped off, and seconds later, the tricycle exploded.
“When they came initially, we suspected some foul move as the Keke-NAPEP rider came to attempt taking passengers into the station; everyone knows only cars and buses enter the park, but here we had a tricycle rider trying to ride in.
“Only a total stranger would want to ride Keke-NAPEP into the park”, said Aliyu Danmalam, a Civilian-JTF operative.
“One of the bombers on the suicide tricycle was said to have escaped seconds after the rider drove his tricycle unto to the rear of the moving bus before it exploded.
“He was later arrested by youth group who went after him. But one woman and two other persons were injured due to the explosion”, said Aliyu Danmalam.
Corroborating, another witnesses, Yusuf Adamu, said the explosion occurred at about 7.10am when motor parks in the town were in full swing, with travellers joining commuter buses out of town.
Adamu said the tricycle attempted to ram into a vehicle that just came out of Borno Motor Garage, the biggest in the town, where vehicles were joined to destinations outside the town.
About a kilometer away, it exploded and killed four persons on the highway and left another three injured.
He said: “I was at the motor park to board a vehicle when the explosion occurred.”
In another development, a suicide bomber struck outside a main crowded market in Chad’s capital, killing 17 people and injuring scores of others, a police spokesman told Al Jazeera.
Authorities said the assailant was disguised as a woman wearing a full-face veil when he detonated explosives as police tried to stop him in N’Djamena on Saturday July 11, 2015.
Two policemen were among those killed in the third attack in the country’s capital in less than a month.
Saturday’s blast came a week after suspected Boko Haram fighters killed 26 people in nightly attacks on two villages on Lake Chad.
Less than a month ago, suicide bombers on motorcycles attacked two buildings in N’Djamena, killing nearly 40 people in the first assault of its kind since the armed group threatened the country earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the Bayela Police Command have recovered the bodies of victims of Thursday’s crude oil pipeline explosion, which occurred in Agip’s field in Bayelsa.
The Bayelsa Police Command spokesman, Asinim Butswat, stated this on Saturday in Yenagoa in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The police spokesman said that two persons were still missing, adding that search and rescue efforts had since been activated, but yet to yield any result.
“On Thursday, June 9, 2015, at about 1600hrs, a pipeline exploded while Agip staff were carrying out routine maintenance on Tebidaba-Clough line, in Southern Ijaw LGA.
“Twelve persons were burnt beyond recognition, which included a soldier on guard duty amongst others.
“Four persons were rescued alive and are undergoing treatment, while two persons are still missing. Search for the missing persons is ongoing,” Butswat said.
Officials of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), representatives of the host community and Bayelsa Ministry of Environment, were investigating the cause of a recent oil spill in the area when the explosion occurred.