By Olarewaju Kola
Just days after weekend suicide bombings, eight Boko Haram suicide bombers were killed in a minibus explosion near a military checkpoint Tuesday morning, said the army.
Army spokesman Col. Sani Usman claimed all the passengers, killed just outside the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, Borno's provincial capital, were members of Boko Haram on a suicide mission.
"The suicide bombers, who came in a Bedford pick-up vehicle primed with improvised explosive devices, including suicide vests, attempted to force their way through the checkpoint but met stiff resistance from troops who insisted that the vehicle be thoroughly checked.
"The suicide bombers refused, and blew up themselves by detonating one of the suicide vests, killing all eight Boko Haram terrorists on board," said an army statement.
The number of passengers was revised downward from nine from an earlier police statement.
Maiduguri, Boko Haram's birthplace and former theater of insurgency, has seen a recent upsurge in bomb attacks after a two-month respite.
Last Saturday, two bomb attacks at a gas station and refugee camp for displaced victims of insurgency killed at least seven people, with 24 wounded.
On Sunday a suicide bomber was also killed by military troops while attempting to scale the perimeter fence of the refugee camp. A bomb disposal squad later detonated explosive devices strapped onto the bomber’s body.
Local army commander Brig. Gen. Victor Ezugwu appealed for calm, assuring residents of their safety.
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