Forgotten Bomb Kills 13 Scrap Scavengers in Borno

Security sources in Borno State, said thirteen scrap metal excavators were killed in Bama local council after a bomb they exhumed, exploded. 

According to Babakura Kolo, a leader in a local anti-jihadist militia: “The bomb exploded as they were pushing it in a cart toward the town, killing 13 and seriously injuring three,”

About sixteen metal collectors from a displaced persons’ camp in Bama discovered the bomb while excavating for scrap in the bush yesterday.

He added that the bomb had evidently been planted in 2015, when the military bombed jihadist positions during operations to recover Bama from Boko Haram.

learnt that jihadists have been targeting scrap collectors, blaming them of spying for troops and the militia battling them.

Last month IS-linked Islamic State West Africa Province ISWAP fighters killed 10 scavengers in Goni Kurmi village near Bama where they had gone looking for metal. A week before, they killed 23 collectors in nearby Dikwa district.

“It was dormant for seven years and buried in the sand but they managed to dig it out, not knowing it was a bomb,” said a second militia leader, Bukar Grema, who gave the same toll.

In 2014, Boko Haram usurped Bama after they took over the territory in northern Borno and proclaimed a caliphate.

The Nigerian military aided by Chadian soldiers in March 2015, reclaimed most of the territory after months-long intense aerial battle.

Residents who had fled returned three years later, with many of them living in displaced camps as the town was long wrecked in the battle.

Arabella reported that most of the displaced depend on relief aid from local and global agencies, compelling many to turn to felling trees in the area for firewood and scavenging for metal scraps which they sell to buy food.

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