90 Dead From Twin Bombs in Maiduguri

Mar. 2, 2014

Bodunrin Kayode, Maiduguri and agency report

•20 villagers killed by jet targeting Boko Haram

Two explosive-laden vehicles went off last night in Maiduguri claiming at least 35 lives.

A military jet targeting Boko Haram hideouts along the Nigeria/Cameroun had earlier on Friday bombed Daglun Village, killing at least 20 civilians, survivors said yesterday.

Yesterday’s explosions occurred at the heavily populated Ngomari-Bulumkutu in Maiduguri.

Time was about 6.30 when a lot of residents were preparing for prayers.

Eyewitnesses said that the bombs were neatly packaged inside a fire wood truck, believed to had taken-off from the Sambisa Forest in Damboa Local Government Area.

One of the eyewitnesses, Malam Mohammed Buba, said: “Nobody can say exactly how it happened, the first blast occurred just about 15 minutes before the second one. Only few people were injured by the first blast, but while people were trying to rescue the victims of the first blast, the second one occurred killing many people.”

The State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Lawal Tanko, confirmed the blasts, saying that 35 bodies had been evacuated so far.

“We are still counting, so far we have counted 35 bodies. Our men are still working with rescue workers at the scene.”

As soon as the explosives went off, people started fleeing the area.

Eye witnesses said some of the victims had gathered to buy fried bean cake (akara) and fried fish for dinner. Many of them had already been rendered homeless by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Youth volunteers, known as civilian JTF, rushed to the scene to assist security agents in combing the area for the brains behind explosions and to pick up corpses of the victims.

Defence spokesman, Major-General Chris Olukolade said by phone that he was aware of the situation but had no details yet.

He confirmed that one of the suspects who detonated the bomb had been arrested and that efforts were on to identify and arrest the rest.

Earlier on Friday, a military jet targeting terrorists bombed the village of Daglun near Nigeria’s border with Cameroun, and killed at least 20 civilians, survivors said.

Most of those killed were elderly, because most residents had fled because of the recent violence and rumours that the military was about to mount attacks in the area in response.

Military spokesman, Capt. Jafaru Nuru of the 23rd Armored Brigade operating in Yobe State, said he was unaware that any airstrike had killed civilians.

An elderly resident of Daglun said he was sitting under a tree when he saw bombs dropping from a military aircraft. A nurse at the local hospital said it received many dead and wounded. A community leader said 20 people died and 25 were wounded.

All requested anonymity citing fear of military reprisals.

Jets have been bombing Boko Haram bases around Daglun daily for three weeks in a bid to flush the extremists out of their remote forest hideouts and caves in mountainous terrain.

In January, a jet dropped bombs near a federal senator, who was travelling in a convoy being escorted by soldiers and police. No one was hurt. The military called the bombing “an operational blunder.”

Also that month, a Nigerian jet pursued Boko Haram militants across the border into Cameroon and dropped three bombs on a Cameroon customs post, destroying two vehicles. Read more: http://thenationonlineng.net/new/35-dead-as-twin-bomb-blasts-rock-maiduguri/