5 killed in Boko Haram mine blast, ambush in Borno


Five people have been killed in a landmine explosion and a roadside ambush in northeast Nigeria blamed on Boko Haram, the civilian militia and police said Wednesday.

In the first incident, at least three loggers were killed when their truck ran over a landmine outside Abbari village in the Konduga district of Borno state on Tuesday.

"The truck hit the landmine at about 4:30 pm (1530 GMT) and went up in flames, killed all three loggers on board," said Ibrahim Liman, from the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF).

Babakura Kolo, Another member of the CJTF in Maiduguri, confirmed the incident, adding: "The mine was obviously placed by Boko Haram terrorists operating in the area."

Abbari village was previously attacked in April, when scores of Boko Haram fighters on motorcycles rode into the farming community, killing seven men and stealing 360 cattle.

In the second incident on Tuesday, Boko Haram fighters killed two men, including a police officer, and injured six others in an ambush on a convoy near Dalwa West village.

Borno state police chief Damian Chukwu told reporters the jihadists opened "indiscriminate fire" on a convoy of vehicles heading from Maiduguri to the town of Damboa, some 90 kilometres (56 miles) southwest of the Borno state capital.

The dead officer was among a contingent of 58 police on its way to new postings in the southern Borno town of Askira Uba, as well as mourners carrying the body of a dead policeman for burial.

No other officer or mourner was hurt in the attack, said Chukwu.

Civilian vehicles are regularly escorted on the road because of sporadic Boko Haram attacks. The road is near the Sambisa Forest, where the militants had camps.

The Konduga district has been a hotbed of Boko Haram activity in recent months, despite government and military claims that the rebels are the verge of defeat.

On June 11, gunmen killed eight members of the CJTF in a dawn ambush as they waited to go on operations with the military.

In May, four other militia members out hunting in the bush near a camp for those displaced by the Islamist insurgency had their throats slit on the outskirts of Maiduguri.

Two of their colleagues were also killed when two female suicide bombers detonated their explosives in Konduga town, which is about 35 kilometres from Maiduguri by road.

AFP

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