Suicide Bomber Hits Maiduguri, Kills 30 Persons, Injures 50 Others
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, January 14, (THEWILL) - A lone suicide bomber hit the city of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, killing at least 30 persons and injuring 50 others on Eid-el-Maulud, a day dedicated to the celebration of the birth of Prophet Mohammed throughout the Muslim world.
The bomb which rocked the city at about 1:30pm also left 15 vehicles and five tricycles burnt with many residents scampering for safety, deserting the streets as a result of the massive explosion.
The bomb was said to have been detonated near a roadblock mounted by the military at the centre of the town.
Some irate youths however trooped to the streets thereafter targeting politicians, and vehicles with posters of the former governor of the state, Senator Ali Modu Sherriff, who arrived the state few days ago after a long absence or his anointed candidate for 2015 gubernatorial election, Alhaji Mohammed Imam, as they alleged that the explosion was politically motivated with accusing fingers pointed at the former governor.
Only four days ago, Sherriff and the incumbent governor, Kashim Shettima, were attacked and pelted with stones on the streets of Maiduguri.
Security sources disclosed that Sherrif who was in the state before the bomb went off had to be ferried out of the state through the airport to save him from being consumed in the wildfire.
But a section of his political office at the UTC area of the town was torched by the youths, who also tried to move to the highbrow area of the town but were stopped by a joint military and police team.
The state Commissioner of Police, Lawan Tanko, said 17 persons died and five persons, including a police traffic warden, were seriously injured in the explosion .
"So far 17 persons have been killed in the explosion by a suicide bomber with five others severely injured, and my men have been sent to hospitals to confirm if there are other persons dead or injured as a result of the explosion," Tanko told journalists after the explosion.
He said the bomber came in a firewood seller truck which he detonated in the middle of the road, blasting 14 vehicles and five tricycles in the process.
He however disclosed that security men had been positioned at all public buildings in the state to forestall further attacks.
Confirming the attack, the spokesman of the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, Col.
Mohammed Dole, said in a statement : "At about 1413 hours on Tuesday 14 January, a Honda car laden with an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded near Post Office area in Maiduguri metropolis.
Members of the frustrated Boko Haram Terrorists are suspected to be behind the bomb explosion.
" "Scores of death and injuries were recorded and 10 vehicles and 5 tricycles are confirmed damaged and one suspect is arrested.
This incidence happened after a long period of relative peace in Maiduguri and environs.
" The state governor, Shettima, has also condemned the explosion, saying it was regrettable that it came when the people of the town have started celebrating the return of peace to the troubled town.
In a statement by his spokesman, Isa Gusau, Shettima described the incident as most cruel, evil and inhuman.
He expressed his deep condolences to the families and friends of all affected victims and prayed for the repose of those who lost their lives and the quick recovery of those who might have suffered injuries.
The governor's spokesman said : "He (Shettima) has directed the security to carry out a full scale investigation on the bomb explosion which resulted in the unfortunate youths rampage that led to the breakdown of law and order.
" "The governor also condemned the uprisings in the last three days in the state capital which he described as unfortunate even though avoidable.
" "He also directed the Ministry of Health to ensure proper medication for all victims who might have suffered injuries with Government bearing all costs of treatment, insisting that the Borno State Government will take "firm measures to continually protect lives and property of citizens.
" He disclosed that as part of such measures, he had met with the National Security Adviser in Abuja and discussed issues of security of lives and property of Borno citizens with him.
The governor who was away from Maiduguri when the explosion occurred, appealed to all residents of the state to remain calm and law abiding, saying he was already on his way back to the town.