Four suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers have been killed today by the explosives they were carring in a vehicle after a failed attempt to enter a large bus station in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, witnesses and security sources said.
A thunderous explosion resonated all over Maiduguri at exactly 7:11am.
Witnesses said the bomber went after a passenger bus that was coming out of the Borno Express Terminus filled with travellers, but could not get the bomb detonated on time.
The Keke-NAPEP later exploded killing all the passengers except one that managed to alight shortly after the bike hit the rear of the moving passenger bus.
Witnesses said the suicide bombers wanted to enter the terminus to detonate the bomb’ but got stopped by security operatives at the entrance gate who asked them to park outside because as an old rule bikes are 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 upon realizing that they were running out of time decided to take it on a bus that has loaded its passengers and exiting the terminus. The tricycle driver drove after the bus and tried to ram into its rear, but the smart driver was quick to speed 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.
“It didn’t occur to us to quickly arrest him, rather we sent him back. He even tried going through the exit gate but later changed his mind. He then waited, with his passengers still on board, for a bus to come out before he decided to attack”.
“One of the passengers on 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.