Two soldiers killed in Jos Army barracks explosion | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Two soldiers killed in Jos Army barracks explosion

Posted: Apr 26, 2015 at 7:31 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

-Boko Haram sacks Borno town

Onoja Audu, Jos

An explosion, which went off at the headquarters of the Third Armoured Division, Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, located at Bassa Local Government Council of Plateau State on Saturday has left two soldiers dead, while another soldier sustained serious injuries.

The explosion was heard in the cantonment around 11 am Saturday morning from a section where troops were working to transport ‘unserviceable’ ammunition in the barracks for demolition when the ammunition exploded, killing the two soldiers and injuring another.

Deputy Director, Army Public Relations Officer of the division, Col. Texas Chukwu, who confirmed the incident in a statement late on Saturday, said: “I want to use this medium to state that this cantonment was not under attack or attacked by the insurgents. There is an ongoing demolition exercise, which started on Wednesday, 20th April 2015 to terminate on the 4th May 2015.

According to him,” The public was informed in the media. The explosion heard in the cantonment was from an accident that occurred while troops authorised to destroy unserviceable ammunition exploded in the process of being moved to the demolition site.

“The explosion did not affect the cantonment or the neighbouring communities, unfortunately, two soldiers lost their lives and one sustained injury. Normalcy has since returned to the area.”

However, suspected Boko Haram insurgents have forced hundreds of soldiers to flee Marte, a border town along the shores of Lake Chad, a local official and witnesses said.

“The terrorists, numbering over 2,000, appeared from various directions on Thursday and engaged the soldiers in Kirenowa town and adjoining communities in Marte,” said Imamu Habeeb, a local community leader.

“They fought with soldiers over the night and the fight continued today (Friday), forcing hundreds of soldiers to flee,” he added from Borno State, capital Maiduguri.

Local fighter Shehu Dan Baiwa said the more than 2,000 fighters had been armed with bombs and tanks. “They used the weapons without restraint and succeeded in killing several people,” he said.

This is the third time Boko Haram has seized control of Marte in restive Borno State, a key battleground of their six-year insurgency, which has killed more than 13,000 and left 1.5 million homeless.

The city is among several retaken in recent weeks by Nigeria’s military, which has launched an offensive against the Islamists as part of a regional operation supported by Chad, Cameroon and Niger.

But Boko Haram have been fighting back, and Nigerian troops were also forced to retreat from Boko Haram’s Sambisa Forest stronghold this week after a landmine blast killed one soldier and three vigilantes.

A senior local politician confirmed, on condition of anonymity, that the insurgents had retaken Marte.

“We lost many (people) because some of our people that fled to Chad and Cameroon have returned after Nigerian troops recovered the town recently,” he added.

A senior military official confirmed the attack on Marte, but refused to say whether Boko Haram had retaken the town, describing the army’s retreat as “strategic”.