The Army yesterday alerted Nigerians to the new tactics used by Boko Haram terrorists in carrying out attacks on soft targets, calling on unsuspecting citizens to beware. This was as it stated that Tuesday’s attack which claimed the lives of at least, three operatives of the Civilian-JTF in Konduga town of Borno State was possible because Boko Haram used an aged man who disguised as a weak and feeble traveller.
Before now, the Boko Haram sect was known to deploy mostly teenage boys and girls in carrying out suicide bombing attacks, but it has emerged that Boko Haram now uses feeble-looking elderly men as well as persons who appear clean and well dressed.
This was disclosed by the spokesman of the military operation in the North-east, Operation Lafiya Dole, Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, who stated that during the Konduga attack, members of the Civillian-JTF on a stop and search duty were deceived by the old man whom they allowed to inch too close to their post for a check of the content of the bag he was carrying.
But unknown to the vigilante members, the aged man was actually a Boko Haram member on a mission to carry out attack in Konduga, a community 35km from Maiduguri.
The elderly person detonated the explosive devise contained in the bag, which resulted in killing himself and three of the Civilian-JTF operatives.
According to Nwachukwu, “The elderly man pretending to be weak and feeble was being searched by men of the Civilian Joint Task Force, when he detonated a suicide vest contained in a bag he was carrying.
“Unfortunately three Civilian Joint Task Force members paid the supreme price in the incident. The wounded have been evacuated for medical attention.
“Our hearts go out to those who lost their lives as well as those injured in the callous attack.”
The Lafiya Dole spokesman added that the Konduga incident “points to the variation in the tactics of the Boko Haram terrorists in their uncanny resolve to deceptively infiltrate communities and towns to mindlessly attack vulnerable and soft targets.
“Aside using women and children, the terrorists are now engaging the aged in suicide bombing as witnessed in this recent incident.”
Nwachukwu warned members of the public to cast their net of suspicion beyond looking for dirty and scraggy looking individuals as suspected suicide bombers.
His words, “They (Boko Haram) have also been detected to now appear clean and well dressed to look unsuspicious and enable them gain access to targets marked for suicide attack. Some of the terrorists have also been found to now conceal their suicide vests by wearing it on the thigh rather than the waist to appear less bulky and evade detection when searched.
“In view of these developments, members of the public are please urged to be vigilant and discerning as they go about their normal daily routines and activities.”