Forgotten bomb kills 13 scrap scavengers in northeast Nigeria

by | Jul 26, 2022 | World

Armed groups have been targeting scrap collectors, accusing them of spying for troops and the militia fighting them.Thirteen scrap-metal collectors in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state have died after a bomb they excavated blew up, security sources told AFP.
Sixteen metal scavengers from a displaced persons’ camp in Bama found the bomb while digging for scrap on Monday in the bush on the outskirts of town.
“The bomb exploded as they were pushing it in a cart toward the town, killing 13 and seriously injuring three,” Babakura Kolo, a leader in a local militia, said on Tuesday.
Kolo said the ordnance had apparently been dropped in 2015 during military operations to retake Bama from the Boko Haram armed group.
“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.
Nigeria’s military is battling to end a 13-year conflict spearheaded by armed groups like Boko Haram in the country’s northeast. It has killed more than 40,000 people and displaced 2.2 million more.
Boko Haram seized Bama in 2014 when they took over swaths of territory in northern Borno and declared a so-called caliphate.
In March 2015, Nigerian troops aided by Chadian soldiers clawed back most of the territory after months-long intensive ground and aer …

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