From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri.
Communities of Dikwa local government area of Borno state were thrown into intense fear yesterday, following multiple sounds of horrifying explosions caused by expired batteries meant for solar street lights, which were mistaken for an attack launched by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Residents’ fears were heightened, forcing them to scamper for safety in the ensuing pandemonium when security forces deployed to the area also fired sporadic gunshots into the air, for mistaken the explosions as an onslaught by the militants.
Our correspondent reported that there was confusion around 11a.m., leading to mass exodus of people, including women and children in the town after a thunderous blast.
Residents who initially spoke to newsmen claimed that members of the Boko Haram sect stormed the area and detonated explosives before engaging troops in a gun-duel.
However, a top security personnel, who declined identification, refuted the incident, saying, “There was no attack in Dikwa by the insurgents; rather, the people were actually scared when they heard a scary bang which was caused by some solar light batteries kept in a store.
Immediately after the ‘blast’ troops in Dikwa fired friendly shots into the air but the residents mistook the development and fled. Many people took to the bushes because they thought our men were engaging the terrorists. I want to assure you that normalcy has returned,” the operative further assured.