The Police on Monday said 54 persons were killed in Sunday’s multiple bomb attacks in parts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
The Borno State Police Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Isuku, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, who confirmed this, also revealed on the telephone to journalists that 90 persons were injured during the attacks.
It was a terrifying Sunday for the people of the troubled town as they were attacked by bombs believed to have been planted by Boko Haram insurgents.
It was gathered that the bomb attacks were targeted at a mosque and a viewing centre at Ajilari Cross, a densely populated area of the metropolis.
A resident of Ajilari Cross, Modu Yusuf, told our correspondent that “around 7.20pm when Muslims had gathered in a mosque at the Ajilari Cross Bus Stop for the Isha prayer, an explosion was heard and the whole place went up in smoke, leading to the death of over 43 people. Thirty-four others were injured.”
This, he said, led to panic, with people in the area scampering for their lives.
He said, “Just as people were scampering and running away from the direction of the mosque, a second bomb was detonated about 100 metres away. This led to the death of nine persons, including two soldiers that were in the area to buy meat and fish barbecue.”
Yusuf added that when people had yet to come to terms with what hit them, a third explosion occurred at the Yan Yashi Pick Up Van Park, near the mini market of Ajilari Cross and about 100 metres away from the rail line, killing 13 youths and injuring many others.
They also attacked a viewing centre at Lawan Street in Gomari, in the same neighbourhood with Ajilari, where many congregated to play computer games and watch videos.
A resident of the area, Hassanatu Idris, said, “Few minutes after the explosion from Ajilari Cross side, a sound was heard at the junction of the road linking the cinema hall where youths including children do gather to watch football and films. Another bomb was detonated few metres away from the junction, along the same road but in front of the cinema hall, killing some youths and injuring over 40 other persons.”
Meanwhile, Governor Kashim Shettima paid a visit to the affected areas and the hospital where the injured were being treated on Monday.
The governor, who was in a pensive mood, assured the injured that the state government would offset their medical bills.
He also sympathised with the families of the deceased and advised residents of the state to be vigilant at all times.