Onyema Nwachukwu, a Colonel in the Nigerian Army and Deputy Director f Information for Operation Lafiya Dole, says Boko Haram has changed its suicide bombing tactics by engaging aged people to carry out attacks.
In a statement on Thursday, Nwachukwu narrated how an aged man who pretended to be weak and ailing detonated a suicide bomb, killing himself and three members of the Civilian Joint Task Force who had tried to search him.
“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,” Nwachukwu stated.
“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.
“This singular 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.
“They 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 conceal their suicide vests by wearing it on the thigh rather than the waist to appear less bulky and evade detection when searched.”
The army urged the general public to be vigilant and discerning as they go about their normal daily routines and activities.
Nwachukwu also said that troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, in their clearance operations on Wednesday neutralised 15 Boko Haram insurgents and rescued 53 hostages comprising four men, 33 women and 16 children.