- Kills 50 in Adamawa, Maiduguri in renewed attacks
Poised to frustrate the December 31 deadline set by the federal government for total defeat of the Boko Haram, the insurgents reportedly killed 20 persons in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, when bomb explosion occurred around a mosque. The terrorists also yesterday attacked a busy motor park in Madagali town in Adamawa State, killing at least 30 persons.
An eye witness, Danladi Buba, said the two female suicide bombers detonated bombs at a mini market near the motor park around 9 am, killing many people. In his words: “About 30 people were killed with 16 others injured.”
When contacted, the Brigade Commander of 28 Task Force Brigade, Mubi, Victor Ezugwu, confirmed the incident, saying the casualty figure was yet to be established.
“Two female suicide bombers struck at a garage in Madagali and detonated their devices, and we lost some beloved country men,” Mr. Ezugwu, a brigadier-general, said. He added that the injured had been taken to hospital while the military had cordoned off the area.
Reports by witnesses on the Maiduguri incident indicated that the bomb, suspected to be abandoned by a fleeing Boko Haram bomber, exploded as residents gathered to examine the object.
The improvised explosive device, IED was probably dumped in the area during Sunday night’s attack on the city, even as the Nigerian army authorities denied reports claiming that the terrorists attacked outskirts of Maiduguri last Sunday.
The army however claimed it intercepted and destroyed 10 suspected Boko Haram terrorists suicide bombers at the outskirts of Maiduguri town.
According to report, a police officer, who pleaded anonymity, said the victims had gathered to investigate if a bomb was truly abandoned in the mosque.
“I have never seen such foolishness when people would go peeping into a mosque to find out if truly there was an explosive deposited in a place. But sadly, the bomb went off and over 20 persons were killed and many injured.”
But the account of Malam Suleiman, a primary school teacher in the area, was slightly different.
“The people normally sit down around the mosque in the morning,” he said. ”The place is like a meeting point where neighbours converge to relax.”
“After the morning prayers they just sat down outside the mosque as usual and then the bomb went off. It was not suicide bombing like that of last night. It may have been planted. Many people died but I can’t give actual figure of the casualties.”
However, Media Coordinator of Operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Mustapha Anka, in a statement yesterday explained that, contrary to earlier media reports and rumours flying around, 2 Boko Haram terrorists suspected suicide bombers earlier intercepted by vigilant troops disclosed their colleagues’ intent to enter the city with the aim of detonating bombs in selected public places.
Col. Anka said, “Consequently, the troops laid ambush on the terrorists’ suspected routes along Damboa road and eliminated them. The suicide bombers were intercepted in three different locations approaching the city; Ajiri area towards Damboa road, High Court axis and the Eye Hospital Area.
“The Explosive Ordinance Device team have been mobilized and they are combing the general area as well as clearing the debris. Normalcy has been restored to the general area and the public are please advised to go about their normal businesses and social activities. However, it is important to maintain more vigilance and security consciousness.”
But earlier reports by AFP claimed that the terrorists attacked Maiduguri last Sunday evening. The report said residents of the city confirmed that the Boko Haram invaded Jiddari Polo, an area on the outskirts of Maiduguri around 6:30 pm on Sunday shooting guns and unleashing explosives.
A local Shehu Mala was quoted by the report as saying, “We had just finished evening prayer in the mosque when we began to hear the barrages of artillery fire and sound of gunfire. All the residents in the area fled their homes to other parts of the city.”
Consequently, Nigeria’s military responded with artillery fire, forcing the attackers to retreat.