Musdapha Ilo, Damaturu
A blind beggar was killed and two other persons injured in Yobe State on Saturday when soldiers at a checkpoint shot sporadically after mistaking a burst tyre for a bomb explosion.
It was gathered that there was a big deafening noise when the tyre of a lorry burst, which the soldiers were mistook for a bomb blast, prompting random shootings towards the direction of blast.
Sources said a vehicle conveying a corpse from Maiduguri, the Borno State with some military personnel heading toward Potiskum had barely stopped for identification at a military check-point on the highway at Damagun, Yobe State when the tyre of a truck exploded spinning the soldiers into a frenzy of panic shooting.
A resident of Damagum, Ibrahim Musa, who spoke to journalists on phone, said: “The loud sound from the burst tyre caused panic as the soldiers at the check-point thought it was a bomb explosion or Boko Haram attempted attack at them. They started shooting into the direction and a blind man, Malam Abdullahi who was among some beggars that do stay near the checkpoint was hit by stray bullet. He died thereafter.”
He also said two other people, a passerby and a passenger in a commercial vehicle sustained injuries from stray bullets.
The two injured persons were however rushed to the hospital by the soldiers who later realized their mistake.
Efforts to get the reaction of the spokesman of the military Joint Task Force (JTF) in Yobe, Captain Lazarus Eli, did not yield result as he did not pick his call when he was called for confirmation.