Boko Haram suicide bomber kills 30 in Maiduguri

This year’s Eid Malud Festival was marred in Maiduguri, Borno State by a bomb blast at the busy Post Office Roundabout in Maiduguri, Borno State on Tuesday.

A lone suicide bomber, believed to be a member of the Islamist militant sect, Boko Haram, carried out the attack which eye witnesses said left no fewer than 30 people dead and about 50 others injured.

The attack which occurred at about seven hours after eight people died in an accident on the Osara-Okene Express Road, Kogi State, sparked protests by youths, who alleged that it was traceable to politicians.

Investigation, however, revealed that Improvised Explosive Devices were wired to a vehicle and detonated at the roundabout which also leads to the Monday Market, the busiest market in the troubled city.

There were however conflicting reports on how the lone suicide bomber arrived and detonated IEDs close to a roadblock mounted by the military near the roundabout.

While the spokesman for the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army Maiduguri, Col. Mohammed Dole, said the bomber drove a Honda car, Reuters said he arrived at the area in a tricycle laden with IEDs.
Dole, who blamed the attack on Boko Haram, said, “At about 14:13 hours on Tuesday, January 14, a Honda car laden with IEDs exploded near the Post Office area in Maiduguri metropolis. Members of the frustrated Boko Haram terrorists are suspected to be behind the bomb explosion.

“Many deaths and injuries were recorded and 10 vehicles and five tricycles are confirmed damaged and one suspect is arrested. This incident happened after a long period of relative peace in Maiduguri and environs.”

But the state Police Commissioner, Lawan Tanko, told Reuters that his men counted 17 bodies as of 2pm on Tuesday.
“My men counted 17 dead persons as of 2pm and they are still counting. I instructed my men to go to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and the Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri to verify if there are others,” Tanko added.
Tanko confirmed that the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber who drove a firewood seller truck and detonated a bomb in the middle of the road.

Tanko, who claimed that only five people were injured, added that security operatives were immediately sent to public buildings to prevent attacks on them by the rampaging youths.

A journalist working at the state television office, Abba Kankami, also told the British news agency that he counted 29 dead bodies.
“The attack happened just behind the fence of my office. I counted 29 bodies, including two kids and a mother. Lots of others seriously injured,” he said.
However, health workers claimed that 30 bodies were deposited at different hospital mortuaries in the city. They added that 50 injured persons were also brought in.

The state Governor, Kashim Shettima, condemned the blast, saying it was regrettable it happened at a time people were enjoying the return of peace to Maiduguri.

In a statement by his spokesman, Isa Gusau, Shettima expressed condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.