Suicide bombers struck yesterday in Maiduguri for the second time in three weeks, killing no fewer than nine people.
Among the dead were the two female suicide bombers. Twenty four other residents were wounded in the twin attacks. They were rushed to the hospital for treatment.
The first explosive went off at the Bakassi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp at about 7am, when one of the bombers tried to enter the camp holding more than 16,000 refugees.
Military spokesman, Colonel Mustapha Anka said: “A suspected female suicide bomber ran into a group of men and women at the entrance while they were coming out of the camp, killing five men and injuring 11 women.”
The second blast, about one kilometer away, followed about 30 minutes later when a tricycle taxi carrying two passengers exploded close to the NNPC Depot on Damboa Road.
The bomber was driving the taxi and following a fuel tanker “with the sole aim of gaining entry to cause maximum damage and casualty,” Anka said.
Most of the victims were said to be women who were on their way to the farm.
Anka in a statement said: “At about 7.05am this morning (yesterday), there were twin simultaneous suicide bomb explosions at the entrance of Bakassi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp and NNPC Mega Filling Station, Damboa Road, Maiduguri.
“At the Bakassi IDPs camp, a suspected female suicide bomber ran into group of men and women at the entrance while they were coming out of the camp, killing five men and injured 11 women. The bodies of dead men and the injured women have been evacuated.
“At the NNPC, a female suicide bomber followed a fuel tanker in Keke NAPEP tricycle with the sole aim of gaining entry to cause maximum damage and casualty but was prevented from gaining access to the station by another vehicle. In that process, the suicide bomber exploded killing the three occupants of the tricycle. No reported injured persons at this instance.
“Troops and security agencies have been mobilized and the injured have been evacuated while efforts are ongoing to comb the general area as well as entries and exits of Maiduguri.
“While we commiserate with the families of the late victims of this cruel act and wish those injured speedy recovery, we would like to assure the public that efforts are on going to track those behind the dastardly acts. However, it is equally important to reiterate the need for more vigilance and security consciousness among all. Citizens are enjoined to report any suspicious persons or movements to the security agencies.”
Three weeks ago, an explosion killed eight and wounded 15 persons at the Muna garage, Maiduguri after a suicide bomber joined a cab before detonating the Improvised Explosive Device (IED), killing herself and other occupants.
Spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Maiduguri, Abdulkadir Ibrahim confirmed the efforts of rescue and health workers in the evacuation of wounded victims to hospitals for treatment while the bodies of the victims have been deposited in the mortuary.