Tragic Landmine Blast Claims 12 Lives in Borno, Nigeria

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
3 Min Read
Nigeria

A devastating landmine explosion in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, near the Cameroonian border, resulted in the loss of at least 12 lives. The incident occurred on Monday when a vehicle carrying loggers struck a landmine suspected to have been planted by Boko Haram jihadists. The loggers were en route to the bush to collect firewood.

Reports from two NGOs operating in the region revealed that the flat-bed vehicle rolled over the explosive device outside Pulka village, an area where Boko Haram remains active despite efforts to push them back. The tragic incident underscores the persistent threat faced by civilians in rural regions affected by the prolonged jihadist insurgency.

According to the NGOs’ reports, men believed to be associated with Boko Haram planted the explosive, resulting in 12 fatalities and several injuries along the Pulka to Gwoza route. Seven other loggers sustained injuries, with three in critical condition evacuated to Maiduguri for further medical attention.

The surge in mine explosions targeting civilian convoys in the region has been attributed to jihadist groups, with recent incidents prompting concerns about the safety of local populations. The Nigerian security forces have yet to confirm the specifics of the blast.

Gwoza, once seized by Boko Haram in July 2014, served as the headquarters of their self-proclaimed caliphate. Although Nigerian troops reclaimed Gwoza in March 2015, the jihadists continue to launch raids from mountain hideouts along the border with Cameroon. Residents from surrounding villages sought refuge in Gwoza and Pulka, living in camps under military protection.

Security forces conduct patrols to deter militants from targeting residents venturing into the bush for activities such as collecting acacia fruits and firewood. Both Boko Haram and the rival Islamic State West Africa Province have a history of targeting loggers, farmers, and herders, accusing them of collaborating with security forces.

The insurgency, which began in 2009, has claimed over 40,000 lives and displaced more than two million people. The conflict has spilled into neighboring Chad, Niger, and Cameroon, leading to the establishment of a regional military force to combat the militant groups

Soukaina Sghir

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