Abuja: At least 30 people were killed in Nigeria when soldiers went on a reprisal mission after the leader of one of their patrol teams died due to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) allegedly planted by Boko Haram Islamic militants in northern city of Maiduguri detonated.
The military team known as Joint Task Force (JTF) was patrolling the city yesterday which is the capital of Borno State when an IED ripped on of their vehicles apart, killing the leader of the patrol team, a Lieutenant and inflicting severe injuries on other military men
Eyewitnesses said that the soldiers shot indiscriminately at people plying the busy road leading to the University of Maiduguri and Teaching Hospital.
"Some people were also killed in their houses set ablaze by the rampaging soldiers, when they were trapped." an eyewitness who craved for anonymity said.
More than 50 vehicles were set on fire by the enraged military men, he said.
The deputy governor of the state, Mr Zannah Umar Mustapha confirmed to the media that 30 persons were killed while 100 houses and shops were burnt.
"The Boko Haram members should lay down their arms for peace to prevail because anytime the sect strike, it would lead to not only destruction of properties, but also lead to the killing of innocent lives when the JTF retaliates." the Deputy Governor said explaining that the governor was on a tour of India and few other countries.
Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, Military spokesman confirmed the incident through a text message to reporters stating that some Boko Haram Islamic sect detonated an IED on a Hilux Patrol vehicle of the JTF which injured two soldiers aboard the vehicle.
However, Sagir denied that any army personnel was killed in the blast, insisting that only two of his men were seriously injured and were taken to University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital for treatment.