Seven suspected Boko Haram terrorists on Monday met their end when an Improvised Explosive Device, IED, which they carefully concealed in a Toyota Pick-up van for an apparent deadly suicide mission, exploded before they could get to their target in Biu Market, Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
A security source, who spoke to PUNCH on condition of anonymity from Biu, said the suspected terrorists hid the explosives among bags of beans and maize to create the impression that they were traders going to the market. But the IED-laden vehicle exploded before they could get to the market, which the source said was their main target.
He said, “A Toyota pickup van loaded with maize and beans with IED hidden under it belonging to Boko Haram insurgents exploded near Chikwarkir village of Biu killing all its seven occupants.
“The insurgents must have intended to sneak into Biu Market to detonate the explosives and thereby kill many people. As you know, it is harvest period and people are taking their farm produce to the market but thank God the bomb exploded before they could get to the market”.
According to the source, the insurgents must have specifically chosen Monday because they knew that it was one of the market days in Biu town, which is the headquarters of Biu Local Government Area of the state. The other market day is Thursday.
Confirming the development, a transporter, Yusuf Ahmed, said they saw corpses of dead Boko Haram members littered along the roadside near Chikwarkir village on Monday.
He said, “We thought they were victims of an auto crash but the villagers told us they were members of Boko Haram sect that were trying to carry explosives to Biu Market but it exploded before they even got to Biu”.