No fewer than three soldiers and 60 civilians were killed in Monguno, Borno State late on Tuesday when an Improvised Explosive Device, IED, concealed in a polythene bag, went off and killed the victims. About 56 other persons sustained various degrees of injuries from the explosion.
Nigerian Pilot learnt that the incident occurred when hundreds of members of the youth vigilante, popularly known as Civilian JTF, found a polythene bag filled with improvised bombs at a deserted Boko Haram camp near the town.
An eyewitness and member of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, VGN, Haruna Bukar, told journalists that a group of Civilian-JTF in company of soldiers on patrol along Monguno-Marte route, stumbled on a bag containing metallic substances in an area where Boko Haram terrorists had once camped before they were dislodged by soldiers last February.
He said: “When they found the bag containing what later turned out to be improvised explosives, they brought it to Monguno town where people gathered to take a look at it. As they were busy fiddling with the contents of the bag, the bombs went off with a massive blast which killed about 63 persons and injured dozens of others.
“It was really a very sad incident that affected many families. Most of those affected are young men and a few females,” he said.
A member of the group, Abbas Gava, also confirmed the incident to journalists in Maiduguri, saying: “Initially, we thought it was a Boko Haram attack as it was being rumoured in Maiduguri. But when we later checked, we discovered that it was somehow an accidental explosion caused by the foolishness of the Civilian-JTF operatives who discovered such a dangerous device and refused to call on the police or military, which have the expertise to handle such things.”
At the Maiduguri Specialist Hospital, where the victims are being treated, Nigerian Pilot learnt that most of the survivors were children.
However, the Chief Medical Director of Borno State Hospitals Management Board, Dr. Salisu Kwaya Bura, said 54 victims of the blast were brought to the hospital, 13 died, while 13 others were treated and discharged.
He disclosed this yesterday when Governor Kashim Shettima visited the hospital to sympathise with the survivors.
Bura said 28 victims were receiving treatment, adding that those with serious injuries were referred to the intensive care unit of the hospital.

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