More than 70 people were feared killed in multiple bomb attacks believed to have been carried out by Boko Haram militants and their agents in Adamawa and Borno States between late Sunday and early yesterday.
Fifty seven people were believed to have died while over 70 were injured and a village was burnt in multiple attacks carried out by the militants around Maiduguri, the Borno State capital and a village in Kaga LGA of the state.
The Adamawa State Commissioner for Information, Ahmad Sajoh said 17 persons were confirmed dead while 41 were injured in yesterday’s twin suicide bomb attacks in Madagali town. Sajoh said information available to him indicated that the injured were receiving treatment in hospitals at Madagali and Mubi while those with severe injuries were taken to the Federal Medical Centre in Yola.
“In my capacity as the Commissioner for Information, after contacting NEMA, ADSEMA and the Army PRO, in Mubi, I can confirm that 17 persons died and 41 got injured”, he said. He noted that the state government would pay the medical bills of all those affected.
He said government was sending a team today to conduct an assessment of the situation.
The Executive Secretary, Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA), Mallam Haruna Furo, confirmed the death of 17 persons while 41 people sustained injuries.
Brig.-Gen Victor Ezugwu, the Brigade Commander, 28 Task Force Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Mubi, said two female suicide bombers detonated Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) in Madagali village.
In Borno State, between Sunday and yesterday, about 15 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were detonated, including the one by a female suicide bomber at Baderi village behind the Maiduguri NNPC depot which killed 19 of a 21-member family.
Governor Kashim Shettima who paid a condolence visit to the village was told that a female bomber accompanied by a small child visited the compound of the ward head when members of the family were having their dinner and demanded for water to do abolition.
The governor was told that as the woman was preparing to make her abolition, the sound of a bomb blast was heard at one end of the town and suddenly, the female visitor held her child tight and detonated her bomb in the compound, killing herself, the child and 19 members of the family that included women and children.
The villagers told the governor said the first bomb that went off in the village was also detonated by a female bomber, killing 16 people in the same village while many were injured.
A witnesses at the ward head’s compound, Falmata Usman, told this reporter that the female bomber who was in her 30s, was polite in her approach, adding, “I went to collect something from the next compound when I sighted her grabbing the child she came with and suddenly there was an explosion.”
At the Specialist’s Hospital Maiduguri where the Chief Medical Director, Dr Laraba Bello, told the governor that 34 corpses were deposited from the scenes of the blasts, 85 injured persons were also admitted out of which six were pregnant women.
She said 21 other injured persons were admitted at the Umaru Shehu Specialist’s Hospital while nine others whose cases were critical, were transferred to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH).
Governor Shettimah sympathized with victims of the attacks and said no amount of brutal act by Boko Haram insurgents whose days are numbered can deter government from wiping them away. Sources at the UMTH said that 23 corpses were deposited from the scenes of the blasts even as several injured persons were being admitted.
At Jiddari Polo area near the Federal High Court in Maiduguri, Boko Haram suspects in military uniforms were said to have stormed the area Sunday night and killed several people while setting some houses on fire.
A resident, Sayyinna Muhammad Ali, said: “They again returned Monday morning and killed seven people in a mosque and some in two houses. A female bomber also detonated a bomb at a joint this morning (Morning) killing many people”.
He said the insurgents that stormed the area in military uniform were believed to have penetrated through the CBN quarters along Baga Road after entering through Mulai area that links to the Sambisa forest. Bana Goni, a resident of Malumti village six kilometers from Benisheikh, headquarters of Kaga LGA, said Boko Haram militants in a Hilux jeep and others on motorcycles stormed Malumti on Sunday morning, shooting sporadically.
“Everybody ran away from the village. I have not heard that they killed or abducted anyone but they stole everything and set the village ablaze. So many of our people are here in Maiduguri,” he said.
But a statement by the Media Coordinator of operation Lafiya Dole, Colonel Mustapha Anka, said troops intercepted suicide bombers Sunday evening and killed 10 suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers on the outskirts of Maiduguri.
“Contrary to earlier media reports and rumours flying around, two Boko Haram terrorists suspected to be 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. 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 Explosives Ordinance Device team has been mobilized and they are combing the area as well as clearing the debris. Normalcy has been restored to the area and members of the public are please advised to go about their normal businesses and social activities. However, it is important to maintain more vigilant and security conscious”, the statement said.
There was an attack on a village near Maiduguri at 6pm Sunday. Soldiers acted promptly to prevent an incursion into Maiduguri, but many were said to have been killed. The federal government had last week said it had greatly weakened the capacity of Boko Haram to launch any serious attack on any town, assuring that the December deadline given the military to flush out the militants had been largely met. President Muhammadu Buhari said last week that the militants could no longer mount conventional attacks against security forces or civilians, having been reduced to fighting with improvised explosive devices.