|Civilians who fled their homes following an attack by Islamist militants, in northeastern Nigeria wait to collect relief materials at the camp for internally displaced people in Yola, Nigeria, Nov 27, 2014. - AP|
The Nigerian Army has averted what would have been a major tragedy at the Internally Displaced Persons camp in Maiduguri by successfully defusing Improvised Explosive Devices planted by a suspected Boko Haram agent. The camp is within the Government Girls Secondary School in Yerwa, the centre of the town and a few metres away from the Borno Express Motor Park, one of the three places attacked a week ago by Boko Haram insurgents.
Loud explosions from the scene of the destruction made many residents of the troubled Maiduguri to desert the streets as they felt that a fresh bomb attack by Boko Haram insurgents had taken place.
A member of the youth vigilante, Ba’ana Goni, said the suspected Boko Haram agent, who was earlier arrested by soldiers, had been living in the camp for about five months as an IDP. One of the IDPs, who declined to be identified, told journalists on the telephone on Sunday that the explosives were buried by the agent, who, according to him, fled from Bama and took refuge in the camp.
He explained that the agent was arreste in a compound allegedly used as a bomb-making factory by Boko Haram. The IDP said, “We were about performing Magrib prayers in the camp when soldiers in patrol vehicles arrived and directed us to assemble at a particular point.
“A few minutes later, they told us that two bombs were planted in the camp but that we should not panic as the perpetrators had promised to take them to the place where the devices were planted. A soldier brought out a youth who was blindfolded from one of the patrol vehicles. The soldier then unmasked the youth and to our surprise, he was someone that we all knew because of his friendly disposition.
“The soldiers told us to remain in one location as they were going to defuse the IEDs. A soldier then fired at the direction of one of the planted explosives and it immediately went off. Another did the same at the direction of the second bomb and it exploded without causing harm to anybody.”