No fewer than six people were reportedly killed on Thursday when their car hit a land mine planted by terrorists in Borno state, civilian militia sources said.
The commercial vehicle unknowingly struck the explosive, suspected to have been planted by terrorists targeting military patrols outside Kamuya village, southwestern Borno.
Kamuya is the home village of Nigeria’s army chief, Lt-Gen, Yusuf Tukur Buratai and has been repeatedly targeted by terrorists
“The car was heading to the state capital Maiduguri when it hit the landmine at about 9:00 a.m. (0800 GMT) and killed all six people on board,” civilian militia leader , Mustapha Karimbe , said.
“The mine was no doubt planted by ISWAP (Islamic State West Africa Province) which was from all indication targeted at soldiers but civilians ended up being the victims,” said another civilian militia member,, Musa Ari.
The terrorists were believed to have been fighters of the IS-affiliated ISWAP which has been active in the region.
Shortly afterwards on Thursday afternoon, suspected ISWAP fighters ambushed a commuter bus in the nearby Maza village, abducting 10 passengers, the militia said.
“10 passengers in the bus were taken into the bush by the insurgents,” Karimbe said.
At least one soldier was killed and three others injured last month when suspected ISWAP fighters ambushed a military convoy outside Kamuya.
In January six soldiers were killed and 14 injured when ISWAP sacked a base in Kamuya village, stealing weapons and burnt military vehicles.
After splintering from Boko Haram in 2016, ISWAP has focused on targeting military patrols and bases, as well as abductions. The two terror groups have competed in the region, deepening the conflict.
The original Boko Haram faction remains notorious for indiscriminate attacks on civilians and abductions.
However, in recent times there has been an increase in attacks on civilians blamed on ISWAP.
The decade-long insurgency has killed 35,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes in the northeast. (AFP)