Two suspected female suicide bombers were on Thursday shot dead by soldiers as they attempted to attack a military base in Gwoza, Borno state, the army said in a statement Thursday.
Gwoza, the rockiest part of Borno State is about 135km south-east of Maiduguri, the state’s capital, and about 60km away from Bama, where the Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima had spent 7 days supervising reconstruction work recently.
The attack came barely 24 hours after the highest military hierarchy at the headquarters of the Operation Lafiya Dole counterinsurgency outfit in Maiduguri said liberated communities are safe for returnee IDPs.
A statement issued by the Acting Director Army Public Relation, Sani Usman, the Nigerian troops in Gwoza on Thursday thwarted what could have been a “catastrophe”.
Mr. Usman said the troops killed the two women, out of three advancing female suicide bombers at about half past noon.
As they opened fire, the suicide bombers’ improvised explosive devices went off in deafening explosion at a safe distance that only caused a soldier some minor injuries from flying shrapnel.
“The suicide bombers, who came through Pulka axis, were sighted by members of vigilante from a distance and alerted the troops about the impending catastrophe,” said the army spokesman.
Mr. Usman further said that “the very observant vigilante also noted that the women looked suspicious; walking awkwardly with bulging hijab and distinct from other female farmers”.
“When the suicide bombers noticed that they were being observed, they hurriedly ran towards troops aiming to detonate it on them. The troops neutralized 2 of the female suicide bombers, while the other ran back into the bush but was pursued. Unfortunately, a soldier sustained injuries due to the impact of the explosion. The wounded soldier is currently receiving treatment at a military medical center and he is in stable condition,” the statement said.