37 die as Boko Haram and security forces battle in Borno •Suicide bomber attacks Potiskum restaurant

Posted by News Express | 17 February 2015 | 3,628 times

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A gun battle between security forces and suspected members of the Boko Haram insurgency at an entry “stop and search point” at the northern axis of Biu along Maiduguri highway has left 37 people dead, residents said.

Witnesses told Channels Television that suspected members of the Boko Haram insurgents from Mirnga area, in an attempt to smuggle the Improvised Explosive Devises (IED) into Biu town, were trapped at a military check point and a gun battle with security forces led to the detonation of the IED, killing scores of people.

The entry check point is being manned by the military and some members of the youth volunteer popularly called Civilian JTF.

A member of the Biu Youth Volunteer involved in the rescue of those affected in the clash who pleaded anonymity said: “17 members of the insurgents were killed in the gun battle while 20 other innocent civilians, mostly hawkers, travellers, some members of the Civilian JTF and farmers returning home were affected at the scene.”

He said 23 others who sustained injuries are being treated at the Biu General Hospital. His words: “Two members of the Boko Haram insurgents were transporting the IED to Biu town from Mirnga area with the aim of wreaking havoc on innocent people when security men at the entry point were promptly alerted, leading to the combat in efforts to stop them from entering the town with the explosive devices.”

In the process, according to him, other members of the insurgents stormed the scene with a view to fighting the security men manning the check point.

A hospital soured told Channels Television that “37 corpses were brought to the hospital after the explosion and subsequent clashed between security forces and the Boko Haram militants.”

Biu is the largest commercial and administrative town located in the southern part of Borno State, north east Nigeria some 187 KM away from Maiduguri, the state capital.

Tuesday’s blast is coming five days after a suicide bomber hit Biu Central Market, killing 15 civilians and injuring several others. Authorities are yet to confirm the incident which occurred around 1:00 in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, across the Borno border, three people have been confirmed dead after a suicide bomber attack a restaurant in Potiskum, Yobe State.

The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Toyin Gbadegesin, who confirmed the incident, said that the bomber blew himself and two others at the Alamin Restaurant along Damaturu Road of Potiskum town.

The incident, according to him, occurred around 2:20 in the afternoon as those injured and the dead have been taken to the Potiskum General Hospital.

The PPRO also said that 12 others are currently receiving treatment having sustained injuries from the blast.

Hospital source told Channels Television that 13 people were brought to the hospital while three other corpses are being deposited at the morgue.

Potiskum is the commercial nerve centre of the troubled Yobe State located in the north east geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

The state has experienced several cases of suicide bomb attack since the commencement of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.

•Pieced together from separate stories by Channels TV. Photo shows scene of a Boko Haram attack.

Source: News Express

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