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54 killed, 95 injured in Maiduguri blasts

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54 killed, 95 injured in Maiduguri

The Borno State police command yesterday confirmed that 54 people were killed and 95 critically injured in multiple explosions that rocked the suburb of Maiduguri, around Ajilari, Bintu sugar and Gomari Airport general areas by suspected terrorists.

IDP-camp-bomb-blast
File photo: IDP-camp-bomb-blast
The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, ASP Isuku Emmanuel, made the revelation in an interview with journalists in Maiduguri, the state capital.

But sources put the figure of the death toll at over 60 as many of the of 95 critically injured ones could not survive, even after receiving treatment at hospitals in the state.

Ajilari cross and Bintu Sugar are located on the outskirt of Maiduguri which had witnessed series of Boko Haram attacks, including bombings of football viewing centres in recent past.

The explosions, which were suspected to have been masterminded by suicide bombers, occurred simultaneously at about  7:38pm, while the last four took place at about 8pm and these forced many residents to flee into main city for safety.

A lucky survivor based at Alilari, who also works with one of the nation’s humanitarian agency, told Vanguard on phone that the first incident occurred at a local Ram Market, near Ajilari Railway Crossing, while others took place at a telecommunication service point where many people gathered to buy and sale GSM recharge cards and transact other petty businesses.

But another eyewitness said the first blast, which occurred at Ajilari Railway crossing, claimed seven lives, including some members of the Civilian JTF.

Vanguard observed that besides the Ajilari Railway crossing blast, 18 people, mostly worshippers, were killed at a mosque where some of the insurgents driving in a Volkswagen Golf saloon, threw an Improvised Explosive Devices, IEDs, while Muslim faithful were about to round off their Magrib prayers.

Another blasts, according to Vanguard findings, took place at about 8pm, targeting football fans who gathered to watch a match, while at the popular telecommunication service point, 15 people were killed, including others that also lost their lives at a public gathering in Hausa (Majalisa), with 95 others sustaining severe injuries in the four blasts.

The Acting Director Army Public Relations, Col Sani Usman, in an interview with journalists, confirmed the blasts but insisted that the number of casualties was yet to be ascertained.

He, however, cautioned residents of Maiduguri and its environs to be vigilante and report any suspicious movement to security operatives, adding that the military was doing its best to restore normalcy in the troubled state before and after the Sallah celebrations in the state.

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