Lagos - Five people were killed when an improvised explosive device exploded in northeast Nigeria, in a region where Boko Haram insurgents have operated for years, the country's military said Sunday.
A rickshaw driving close to a military checkpoint on the outskirts of Biu town, Borno State, ran over the IED in the morning.
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"Preliminary investigations shows that the IED was buried long time ago undetected. It exploded when the tricycle erroneously stepped on it," Nigerian military spokesman Sani Usman said in a statement.
"The IED exploded instantly killing four persons comprising of a woman with her baby and two other male adults," Usman said, adding that a soldier injured by the blast later died in hospital.
He added that "the explosion would not deter us from seeing to the end of Boko Haram terrorists wherever they might be hiding through our ongoing clearance operations."
The Nigerian government has won back swathes of territory from the Islamist insurgents in recent months, with President Muhammadu Buhari saying in a recent speech marking his first year in office that "by the end of December 2015, all but pockets and remnants had been routed" from the northeast.
But even areas freed of Boko Haram are suffering from the legacy of the seven-year insurgency that has devastated infrastructure in the impoverished region and forced some 2.1 million people in Nigeria to flee their homes, according to the UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency.