A military armoured tank Monday caught fire and exploded in Damaturu, Yobe State, in an incident army sources attributed to “weapon malfunction.”
Residents said the resulting several explosions threw the entire town into confusion with people scampering for safety.
A military source, however, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that the explosions have no connection with Boko Haram attack but a “weapon malfunction”.
The situation is also under control and life is normal in the town, the source said
An eyewitness who identified himself as Hamisu told this newspaper that the armoured tank caught fire opposite the Federal Polytechnic on their way back to base from the August 27 Stadium where it was stationed last night.
The Manager of AMIN Supermarket, who identified himsepf simply as BaMaina, said the explosions occurred a few meters away from their building.
He told our correspondent that the windows of their shop were shattered from the explosions which shook the foundation of their shop.
“The sound of the explosions were terrible,” he said.
“Some of our shop windows have been broken from the sound. The explosions shook the entire building. We just moved away to the back of the building for safety”, Bamaina informed.
“No one is certain whether or not lives were involved. What I gathered is that the soldiers realized that the vehicle caught fire so they came out and ran away. We are not sure if all of them ran away or some were left in the tank, another eye witness Adamu disclosed.
The spokesperson of Sector II Operation Lafiya Dole, Damaturu, Njoka Irabor said “it was an unfortunate incident that has nothing to do with an attack on the town”.
Mr Irabor, a captain, who said he could not comment on whether or not there were fatalities, called on the people to go about their normal business as “there is no cause for alarm.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported that the insurgents a few days to Christmas attempted an attack on Damaturu where they were repelled with dozens of them killed including one of their top commander, Abu Muqhtr.