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Eight wedding guests die in landmine explosion on Dikwa-Gajibo road in Borno State

7 May 2024
Reading time: 3 minutes

Seven guests returning from a wedding in Gamboru die instantly as car hits improvised explosive device – eighth person is gravely wounded and later dies in hospital.

Eight guests who were returning from a wedding on Sunday, May 5, have been killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast on the Dikwa-Gajibo road in Borno State.

Musa Goni, a member of the civilian joint task force (CJTF) in Dikwa, said it was suspected that the IED was planted by Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’way Wa’l-Jihād (JAS), more commonly referred to as Boko Haram, insurgents.

The wedding was held in Gamboru, a busy market town in the Ngala Local Government Area on the border of Nigeria and Cameroon.

A vehicle in which the guests were travelling drove over the IED on the Dikwa-Gajibo road between the villages of Gajibo and Logomani, roughly 80km from Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

“Seven civilians, including three women, died instantly in the blast. An eighth civilian was severely wounded and was taken to hospital where he later died,” Goni said.

“Security personnel need vehicles that can withstand explosions,” Goni said. “There have been a number of IED explosions on this road recently. The CJTF conducts patrols every day but it is easy to miss the bombs because insurgents hide them.

“The poor road infrastructure makes it harder to spot the IEDs. Insurgents use potholes and cracks in the roads to hide the bombs. They often plant them at night. Night surveillance needs to be stepped up so that those responsible will be apprehended.

“It’s very sad that innocent civilians – especially women and children – are dying on roads in Borno State. Insurgents are targeting military personnel but it is often civilians who are suffer the most.”

One of the guests who died in the blast was a telecommunications expert, Mallam Abbashuwa Bulamarwa.

His distraught brother was quoted as saying: “May Allah forgive and have mercy on his gentle soul and may Jannatul Firdaus [the highest level of heaven] be his final abode. Amin Ya Rabb [Amen, dear Lord, to you].”

Yagana Aisami, a trader from Dikwa, said she used the road regularly to conduct business.

“All the traders feel uneasy these days. There have been so many landmine explosions. We always wonder if we’ll get to our destination safely. And then we hope we will get home in one piece. We all know of people who have died in IED blasts. Every week we hear of another trader or passenger or driver who has lost their life in an IED blast.

“There has been a noticeable escalation in the number of landmine explosions recently. Our families don’t want us to travel on the road but we have to use it to conduct business. But every time we travel we wonder if it will be our last. It’s extremely stressful. The Borno State government needs to scale up patrols on the road before more people die.”

On Wednesday, May 1, 11 security operatives – comprising CJTF and local hunters – died when the vehicle in which they were being transported drove over an IED on the Dikwa-Ngala road.

Goni said the vehicle was “totally destroyed”.

“The number of attacks by insurgents on the ground is lower than before but we have seen a significant escalation in IED blasts.

“CJTF members are committed to supporting the military’s efforts to end attacks by ISWAP [Islamic State West Africa Province] and Boko Haram [JAS] fighters. But we need vehicles that can withstand explosions. Too many security operatives have died in counterinsurgency operations.”



About the author

Rukaiya Alibe