At least 24 people were killed and 35 others were injured in an early morning suicide attack on a mosque at Umarari-Molai, a village 6 kilometers from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
The Nigerian Army confirmed the attack yesterday, but put the casualty figure at 22 people dead and 18 injured.
Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, said in a statement that the attacks were carried out separately by two female carriers of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
He said the first attack targeted a mosque, while the second blast was about 50 metres away, a few minutes later.
An elderly resident of the village, Alhaji Mala Modu, said the bombers stormed the mosque around 5:30am when Muslim worshippers were about to commence the early morning prayer.
Modu, who said he missed the prayer when he left the mosque a few minutes to the blast to urinate, added that one of the female bombers disguised as a male and joined the worshippers.
“Just as the prayer started, she detonated her bomb. The second one who remained outside the mosque, ran after fleeing victims and detonated her own. So many people died just as many others got injured. We all had to take cover until after some minutes before we went for rescue.
“I do not know how many got injured but I know they are so many. I saw so many corpses in and around the mosque. Some of them were mutilated. But I identified so many of the dead and injured victims,” he said.
A rescue official said: “We evacuated 24 corpses and 35 were injured, some severely, and we took them to the state specialist hospital.”
“One of the corpses we removed from the mosque was that of a female. We also found another female corpse outside. The corpses are believed to be those of the attackers,” he added.
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