insuregncyThe people of Gombe State were ushered into a bitter Sallah celebration yesterday, as twin bomb explosions hit the main market, killing 50 people and injuring several others.
An eyewitness who claimed to be among the first to arrive at the scene said: “I saw and counted about 46 dead bodies. There were other bodies scattered all over the place and you know I cannot count and ascertain how many they were.”
Malam Musa Mohammed, an orange seller whose stand is close to the scene, said his son, an apprentice at a nearby shoe shop, was injured but two of his colleagues died.
He said the blast went off at a kitchen utensils shop and everyone in the shop died; “the shop owner, his boys and their clients all died, but I cannot tell how many they were.”
Other sources who claimed they were a few kilometres from the scene, said there was a third blast but it was too weak and could not cause any damage.
They said that would have affected them because it was close to where they stood to view the havoc wreaked by the other two.
“That one was just in a Maltina container. It was not strong like the others. Not very many people even knew about it. We got to know about it because we were very close to the area,” they said.
At the State Specialist Hospital, the state Commissioner of Police, Kudu Nma Abdullahi, said it was a twin-bomb blasts that occurred at about 5:20pm at the Gombe main market.
“We got information of a twin blast. Ostensibly, that means there is a bomb blast. Either it was a suicide mission or an Improvised Explosive Device, IED, kept somewhere at the main market where they sell slippers and wears.
“I think people were busy doing their shopping, preparatory to tomorrow (today’s) Sallah festival.”
He said the place had cordoned off the area to avoid hoodlums capitalising on the situation to loot people’s shops.
Abdullahi said no arrest had been made but that the situation was relatively under control. He was silent on the death toll.
The police boss called on residents to remain vigilant, stressing the need for people to remain suspicious of the movement of people they do not know.
“Anything they suspect, they should quickly raise an alarm or inform the security agents so that we can come in immediately,” he said.

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