Suspected terrorists, on Saturday attacked two Kaduna – bound military luxury buses along Okene -Lokoja road with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) also known as bombs. The soldiers were alleged to be some of those expected to be deployed in Mali for peacekeeping operations.
Four others were said to have received injuries from bomb explosions and gun attacks from the assailants.
The attack, which occurred around 6.30 a.m left two soldiers dead and the bodies deposited at Mortuary of the Federal Medical Centre at Lokoja, Kogi State capital, while the injured soldiers are receiving treatment under heavy security at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Kogi State
It was learnt that the soldiers were coming from Ibadan, Oyo State heading towards Kaduna for training when they were attacked with bomb allegedly planted at the spot.
One of the three bombs allegedly exploded, while the remaining two were defused by the Anti-Bomb Squad.
The panic the incident caused resulted in a serious gridlock along Okene Lokoja route as motorists spent hours because the combined men of the soldiers and the police barricaded the road for check.
All the motorists on the route were thoroughly checked and scrutinized before being allowed to pass.
The commander of the state task force, Colonel Femi Olorunyomi who confirmed the incident, disclosed that an ambush was laid on the soldiers who innocently ran into the trap of the perpetrators, saying two people were so far killed in the process with some sustaining injuries.
The Army Director of Information, Maj. Gen Bola Koleosho, who also confirmed the attack, said those who killed the soldiers were members of a terrorist organization.
Koleosho said the terrorists laid an ambush for them and threw Improved Explosive Devices on the convoy while firing at them simultaneously from the bush.
He said the soldiers left Ibadan for the North on their way to Mali and stopped over in Okenne to pass the night.
He said, “The troops were coming from Ibadan, I think it took them some time to leave and when they got to Okene, they stopped over to pass the night.
“They were leaving in the morning around when the attackers who were not robbers, because thieves don’t use IEDs, waited for them. After they allowed the first escort vehicle to pass, they threw bombs at them while opening fire from the bush.
“Our soldiers at the back returned the fire. If not, the casualty figure would have been higher. One person died instantly and the other died on the way to the hospital. The other four are responding to treatment.”
Koleosho said the soldiers decided to block the road to ensure that innocent Nigerians were not attacked by the terrorists. He also said it was to pave way for the soldiers to defuse unexploded IEDs which might have been left behind by the terrorists.