The explosion of a bomb suspected to have been planted on the roadside by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect, who targeted a commuter bus on Friday, which led to the death of seven passengers and three others critically injured, has introduced a new dimension to the tactics deployed by the insurgents in their campaign of terror.
This much was confirmed by security sources, who said the latest blast might have been remotely controlled.
Local authorities and eye witness accounts put the scene of the blast to a place near Kuthra village in Gwoza Local Government Area in southern part of Borno State, where the insurgents have launched series of violent attacks in recent times.
Information Nigeria reports that Gwoza is 90kilometers away from Kawuri, the village where 85 people were massacred and many others injured when gunmen attacked a weekly market last Sunday, which also left over 200 houses in ruins as they were burnt down by the rampaging insurgents.
The state Police Commissioner, Lawan Tanko, who confirmed the incident told newsmen that, “the incident happened when an 18-seater Toyota bus conveying passengers ran over an IED (Improvised Explosive Device)”.
According to him, “the blast killed seven people and injured three others who are now receiving treatment.”
Another security source, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press on the matter, said, “This is the first known incident where a blast was directly targeted at civilian vehicle…we have had many incidences where vehicles belonging to security operatives and other symbol of authority were directly targeted with explosives
“I believe this particular incident is out of desperation by the terrorists because we are also changing our surveillance architecture towards containing them…as you know, they are only attacking soft targets these days”, he said.
The Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrissa Timta, who also confirmed the incident, told Governor Kashim Shettima in Maiduguri, the state capital that the blast occurred around 7am.
“I was advised by military officers to delay my trip to the state capital for two hours because the road was not safe”, he said.
“It was after they cordoned and searched the road thoroughly before commuters were allowed to proceed with their journeys”, he said.