At least eleven people have been killed when a massive explosion ripped through a checkpoint in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno as the West African country is fighting the militancy fueled by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
Gana Sheriff, a vigilante, said the attack happened at around 1:00 p.m. local time (1200 GMT) on Tuesday in Yamarkumi village in the conflict-torn Borno state.
The attack was carried out “by three men in a motorized tricycle. They killed 11 people, including Civilian JTF (Joint Task Force) and child vendors at the checkpoint,” he said.
The development comes a day after Boko Haram overran the town of Askira Uba in Borno state, burning down homes and unleashing terror on residents.
“They attacked Askira Uba first on Sunday when they burnt down the emir’s palace,” said Jubrin Gunda, a spokesman for the local Civilian Joint Task Force vigilante group.
He added, “They returned yesterday and started burning all the houses and terrorizing the people. They are still there now.”
An army official, requesting anonymity, confirmed Boko Haram’s capture of Askira Uba, saying, “We heard some of them had moved to Askira Uba, burning down the houses there.”
“They are roaming in the area, but we will soon get at them there,” the official noted. “We are clearing Sambisa, which is a very vast area. Askira is part of the forest.”
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” controls large parts of northeastern Nigeria and says its goal is to overthrow the Nigerian government.
It has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly shooting attacks and bombings in various parts of Nigeria since the beginning of its operations in 2009, which have left over 13,000 people dead and 1.5 million displaced.