30 May 2011

Nigeria: 13 Killed, 40 Injured in Bauchi Bomb Tragedy

About 13 persons have been confirmed killed, while 40 others received various degrees of injuries in a Sunday night triple explosion that occurred at the Mammy Market, Shadawanka, 33 ArmyBrigade Barracks in Bauchi.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika who disclosed this in Bauchi Monday during a visit to the scene of the bomb blast said the corpses of the victims have been deposited in the mortuary. He said that those who sustained injuries as a result of the blast have been admitted at the Military Hospital in the barracks and Abubakar Tafawa BalewaTeaching Hospital(ABUTH), Bauchi.

According to him, " I can confirm to you that 14 persons died, 40 injured, some were treated and discharged, there is no soldier among the people that lost their lives, there are some policemen, relatives of the soldiers and other civilians"

Describing Barracks as a place where soldiers and civilians interact, he reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Army to tackle all terrorist threat in the country.

"We have come out with new security measures, we have established an outfit called the Dog section of the military police, these are all aimed to enhance our capacity to deal with terrorist act in the country. So far, we have established one in Abuja, in addition to the one we have, because of the last incident, and we are going to established one in all Army barracks, and we are also enhancing our engineers in order to detect terrorism act"

He called on officers and men of the 33 Artillery Brigade to ensure that terrorism was defeated in all its facets. saying that those affected by the blast included civilians and policemen who were relaxing after the official swearing-in of Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State.

General Ihejirika expressed his sympathy to the army and their wives and relatives over the losses, and assured that the army was determined to fight terrorism.

He described the incident as a challenge to the military, and called on the army to take their training with apt seriousness to ensure that terrorism was wiped out. He stressed that the military must always maintain the security of the nation in spite of all odds, directing that roadblocks and checkpoints should be maintained with all seriousness.

The Chief of Army Staff urged soldiers to watch out for strange faces and people with suspected characters as well as movements under their areas of coverage, warning them to be more alert at all times.

THISDAY investigations revealed that the incident which occurred around 8.13pm sending people in the area scampering for safety now has led to the closure of the market by the military authorities indefinitely pending completion of full investigation into the unfortunate incident

Security has equally been beefed up in and around the barracks while the area of the incident has been cordoned off.

The General Officer Commanding 3rd Armoured Division, Jos, Major General Sunday Idoko, who described the incident as unfortunate , however said that security should be everybody's concern. He lamented that the Army Barracks under his command do not have perimeter fences.

Earlier, in his reaction to the incident after conducting newsmen round the scene of the incident last Sunday night before the arrival of the Chief of Army Staff, the Brigade commanderof the 33 Artillery Brigade, Brigadier General Agbo Robinson said "three bomb blast occurred around eight o'clock in the evening when officers and men of the brigade and other civilians were relaxing".

The Brigade commander said the Army has now sealed the market to enable soldiers to investigate the remote cause of the incident. He reiterated the commitment of his officers to fish out the culprits, adding that "Army and the Police have unveiled new security measures to arrest the suspects and ensure security of the citizens in the state".

Also reacting to the incident, the Chairman, Operations of the State Emergency Management Agency Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Bello said "from what I confirmed from our officers at theAbubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi presently, there are 14 dead bodies in the mortuary, and out of the29 injured people admitted in the hospital, eight were treated and discharged, while 21 people are currently in the hospital"

An eye witness told newsmen that the devices exploded simultaneously around 8 o'clock in the evening, "yesterday was Sunday, many people went to the mammy market to ease and relax, we were about to start eating when we heard a loud bang about three times one after the other, several people were crying in pains because they sustained in juries no one can tell you the number of people that were affected because it was in the night and very soon the place was cordoned off by the military they took the injured people to the Hospital"

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