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Explosions at Biu bomb factory kills 3 Boko Haram suspects

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From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

Biu town, headquarters of  Biu local government council of  Borno state, was thrown into intense fear yesterday evening following multiple explosions in a house used as a bomb factory, killing three suspected members of the Boko Haram sect.
Biu, which is about 187 kilometers from the state capital, is among the local government areas under emergency rule declared by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Our correspondent reports that the latest incident was the third of its kind in the past few months as in December last year, another explosion had rocked a house used for the manufacture of improvised explosive devices, (IEDs) in Bolori ward, which left three members of the group dead.
The other incident, which happened at London Ciki Ward in March this year, had also killed three members of the group.
Yesterday’s blasts, which occurred at about 4.30pm, caused pandemonium in the area as residents abandoned their houses and scampered for safety, while markets and other commercial centers were immediately shut down.
Residents who live close to the scene of the incident said they heard a loud bang, which sounded like electric transformer exploding and was followed by a thick smoke. “I was preparing to return to my shop after a break when I heard a loud bang, before I quickly ran back into my house,” Bulama Goni told newsmen.
Field Operations Officer of the JTF, Col. Victor Ebhaleme, who confirmed the incident to newsmen, said two other suspects who attempted to flee the scene of the blasts were apprehended.
He explained that explosions occurred when the militants were assembling devices for attacks in Maiduguri, the capital city.   
“We got information that some Boko Haram terrorists were planning to invade Maiduguri from Biu town, 187 kilometers away with a view to causing mayhem. This prompt the 331 Battalion  of the JTF in Biu town and the Department of State Security Service (DSS)  to mobilise our men to the town  and invaded the hide-out of the suspects but found pieces of human parts numbering about five destroyed by the explosives", Col. Ebhaleme said.
He added that items recovered in the compound comprised of three general purpose machine guns (GPMG), five AK47 rifles, nine magazines, 73 rounds of ammunition and several explosives-making materials.

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