Army Confirms 50 Dead In Damaturu Praying Ground Bombings
BEVERLY HILLS, July 17, (THEWILL) – As Nigerians continue to condemn the twin explosions which rocked a Muslim praying ground in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, early Friday morning, the Nigerian Army said 50 persons died in the bomb explosions.
The confirmation was contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the Acting-Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman .
The statement issued Friday said many other persons were injured in the explosions suspected to be the handiwork of Boko Haram insurgents.
“This is to confirm that there were two suicide bomb explosions today (yesterday) at about 7:40 a.m. in Damaturu, Yobe, in which two female suicide bombers — one elderly woman and a 10-year-old girl –detonated the devices.”
“It occurred at screening areas for intending Muslim worshippers at Layin Gwange, Damaturu and at Phase1, in front of former state secretariat, Damaturu,” the statement said.
According to the statement, 43 persons died in the first explosion while seven people died in the second explosion.
While assuring the public that the relevant authorities had brought the situation under control, the Army said no amount of terrorist act would deter the Nigerian Army's resolve to stamp out terrorism and insurgency from the country.
The bombers had defied the high presence of soldiers that greeted the arrival of the newly-appointed Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Maj. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, who was in the state to carry out their deadly attacks.
Following the explosions, the streets of Damaturu were deserted as security operatives had to adjust the restriction of movement earlier pegged at 2pm to 6pm.
However, hundreds of Muslim faithful still trooped out for the Eid prayers at other prayer grounds to mark the end of the Ramadan fast as the visiting COAS, Buratai, joined the state governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, and some government officials and military personnel to pray at the Yobe Mosque and Islamic Centre in Damaturu.
When confronted by journalists after the prayer on why he is in the state, Buratai replied: “I cannot tell you why I am here on the strategic level because it’s a strategic decision. We all know the importance of Damaturu and Yobe State in particular. My presence here is to improve civil-military relation, we need the cooperation. My presence will boost the morale of the troops.”
“This is one of the reasons why I am here. To see to myself and it will also help me to access the state of readiness in terms of equipment and indeed their state of discipline and we would be able to access the threat properly from this perspective.”