- As Suicide bombers kill seven in Maiduguri
A search operation has been launched following reports that a crew member went missing from the cruise ship Liberty of the Seas some 170 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, on April 24.
According to the United States Coast Guard, Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Eighth District command center in New Orleans received a report at 4:30 am that a 39-year-old Filipino crew member was missing and was last seen at 1:30 am on the ship’s closed-circuit television.
An HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Coast Guard Air Station Air Station Corpus Christi as well as the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Manowar, an 87-foot patrol boat from Galveston, were deployed to conduct the search operation.
Maritime Lawyer Jim Walker informed that the three hour delay between the last images of the crew member on CCTV and the reporting of the missing crew member could mean that the cruise ship “was not equipped with an automatic man overboard system.”
In the meantime, seven persons have been killed in suicide attacks at two separate locations in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
In one of the attacks, a female suicide bomber lost her life when she prematurely detonate an explosive strapped on her body upon being accosted by some vigilantes.
The terrorist died alone, while two other suspected female suicide bombers who seemed to be on the same mission with her, chickened out and took to their heels.
But they were gunned down by the vigilantes before they could escape.
In the second attack, which took place on the outskirts of Maiduguri, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive which claimed the lives of three persons.
The police spokesperson in Borno State, Murtala Ibrahim, in a message to journalists, said, “Today (Monday) at about 0510hrs, three female suicide bombers with IED strapped to their bodies, attempted to infiltrate Mamanti Village in Jere Local Government Area. They were intercepted by the civilian JTF.
“In the process, one of the suicide bombers detonated the IED strapped to her body, killing only herself. The other two tried to escape but were shot dead by security personnel on duty. The command EOD personnel were promptly drafted to the scene to sanitise and render the area safe.
“Again at about 0730hrs, another suicide bomb incident was foiled at Mainari Kanuri Village along Damboa/Biu Road on the outskirts of Maiduguri town.
“A suspected Boko Haram terrorist, disguised as a cart pusher, was intercepted by residents of the community. He detonated the IED on his cart, killing himself and three nearby civilians, while two other civilians sustained injuries.
“Both scenes have since been rendered safe and normalcy has been restored.”
World Maritime News with additional report from Punch