The Nigerian Army Saturday urged the public not to panic after terrorists linked to the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fired bombs at some areas in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Reacting to the incident, Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, stressed the need to fortify Maiduguri town against future attacks.
The Borno Police Command said a six-month-old baby was injured when ISWAP terrorists fired five mortar bombs into Maiduguri yesterday.
The Commissioner of Police, Abdul Umar, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri that the terrorists fired the bombs from the outskirt of Ngomari Old Airport, behind Borno State University.
He said the mortars landed in different locations within the city causing minor damages.
The CP said the first bomb landed inside a house belonging to one Ibrahim Abba-Fori, burning down a Honda Civic car while another destroyed a room in Alhaji Bukar Modu-Kullima house and injured the six-month-old baby, Fatima Alhaji-Bukar.
“Another one landed at Gambari Njimtilo Ward near the house of Ahmed Yahaya, where the fence of the house was destroyed.
“The last explosive landed in a farm at Shuwarin Atom Village,” he said.
Umar explained that the six-month-old victim was treated for minor injuries at the Umaru Shehu Ultra-Modern Hospital and discharged.
No life was lost in the attack, the CP said, adding that more police and military personnel had been deployed to the outskirt of Maiduguri for monitoring and patrols.
He urged residents to be on alert and report any suspected activities that would be detrimental to peace while assuring them of the total readiness of security agencies to protect lives and properties in the state
Residents of the Gomari airport area of Maiduguri woke up yesterday morning to heavy rocket fire into their community.
The insurgents were said to have misfired the rockets meant for the Nigerian Air Force Base but went into their community causing great havoc to some structures.
In a statement signed by the spokesperson of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, the army described the attack as a “security breach by suspected Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists who made futile attempt to maintain potency early this morning, December 4, 2021, with explosions in the outskirt of Maiduguri Metropolitan Council.”
The explosions reportedly hit the Gomari community and 1,000 Housing estates in Maiduguri but no deaths were reported.
“This unfortunate incident has caused some level of damage and apprehension in residential areas. Although no life was lost, sadly a minor sustained injury,” the army said.
“Ground troops in conjunction with the Air Component of OPHK responded swiftly and dominated the area with ground and air interdictions that successfully neutralized the threats and infiltration attempt by the terrorists.
“The general public is urged not to panic as troops are on the ground and aggressively dominating the city to effectively take out any perceived threat.
“The good people of Maiduguri are equally enjoined to go about their normal socio-economic activities and provide actionable information on the movement of these criminal elements.”
Saturday’s attack comes a day after seven soldiers were reportedly killed by ISWAP jihadists near a base at Rann, close to the Cameroonian border.
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, visited the scene of the explosions yesterday and sympathised with those affected.
“It seems the insurgents came very close to the town, the military has to wake up and ensure adequate surveillance,” Zulum said.
“This is something that we can avert its occurrence. For the insurgents to have come such close to fire rockets, I think there is something wrong that we should have to check.
“We have to fortify Maiduguri town, we have to ensure adequate patrols daily to avert future attacks.
“It is very sad and unfortunate we have to witness this kind of attack at this time.”
By Ejiofor Alike