A minor female bomber yesterday detonated explosive devices in a local market at Damaturu, Yobe State capital, killing no fewer than 19 people. Witnesses said the bomber, whose age was put at about 10 years by the police, had sneaked into the sugar cane market in the state capital at about 9.30am yesterday, and shortly an explosion occurred.
The Police Public Relations officer (PPRO) in the state, Toyin Gbadegesin, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), who confirmed the incident, said the suicide bomber detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), “at the main entrance of the market.” Gbadegesin put the casualty figure at 14 though the state government said 19 were killed, adding that 47 other people injured were receiving treatment at the Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital in the state capital.
The PPRO also revealed that five units of un-detonated IED were recovered from the scene of the blast, even as he cautioned residents to be careful with people carrying bags, saying the militants had resorted to using bags to convey explosive devices. Meanwhile, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has described the explosion as ‘horrific’, saying it was another sad day in the state in which innocent people were again, the target of bloodthirsty terrorists. He sympathised with the families of victims and those who sustained injuries.
A statement issued by the Director of Press Affairs to the Governo, Abdullahi Bego, read in part: “The governor has condemned the attack as callous, barbaric and unjustifiable. He has also called on security agencies in the state to step up surveillance and the people to remain very vigilant about happenings in their areas and report any suspicious person or movement to the nearest security point or jurisdiction.”