Kano — Four people were injured by an explosion around Kano central Eid ground yesterday. Security officials said a timed-bomb planted by the fence of the worship centre exploded around 8:30am, leaving a hole on a portion of the fence.
The explosion happened metres away from the popular Kantin Kwari textile market. Residents told Daily Trust that the blast occurred at a security post, saying few officers were present at the time. The attack was believed to have targeted the security personnel manning the post.
Three paramilitary officials and a passer-by were wounded. Hospital officials said the injured included a member each of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Hisbah Board and the state's newly established Kano Road Transport Agency (KAROTA).
An official of the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital who did not give his name said the road safety official was badly injured, with fractures on his hand and leg.
Daily Trust reports that the blast was heard all over Kano city. Men of the Joint Task Force immediately cordoned off the area and blocked sections of the road leading to nearby Kofar Mata and Kantin Kwari.
The roads were, however, opened to traffic some minutes after. Security sources said the casualty would have been much higher if the attack had taken place later in the day, as the area used to be parked with law enforcement officers and people going to the nearby market.
Our correspondent reports that some personal effects of the victims littered the scene of the incident, where residents said security officers on traffic duty use as a base.
A plain clothe security officer was seen removing a tattered headgear belonging to a road safety official. There have been many bomb explosions in Kano in the recent past but residents described yesterday's blast as 'very powerful'.
"I thought the bomb went off right inside my house," one resident of Kofar Wambai said.
"It was so loud and scaring, and after I rushed out to see whether it exploded inside my house, I realised all my neighbours had also came out, asking the same question," he added.
At the accident and emergency section of the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, where the victims were taken for treatment, Daily Trust came across a road safety officer whose name was given as Nura Isma'il Muhammad, being stretched out from an X-ray room.
Hospital staff said he had sustained fractures in the leg and hand and that the blast almost ripped open his abdomen.
Another victim, who had bandage wrapped around his head, gave out his name as Isa Sani. He would not respond to questions by our reporter, apparently due to the shock from the blast.
Yesterday's attack was the first in which assailants targeted security men using bombs since the January 20 Boko Haram coordinated attacks that left about two hundred people dead. Attacks on security forces were usually in the form of drive-by shootings.
Similarly, the Monday attack was also the first in which Hisbah and KORATA officials were hit. Recently, gunmen trailed and killed three Road Safety officers on patrol along Madobi Road. But the state police command later said it had arrested the killers, whom it said were hired assassins operating in the state.
Nobody had claimed responsibility for the blast as at press time.
Meanwhile, Police spokesperson ASP Musa Magaji Majia,Majia said security agents had to clean up the area and ensure that no unexploded ordnances were left behind, before opening it to members of the public.
Majia, who confirmed that three persons were injured in the explosion, also said that two of the victims had been treated and discharged from the hospital.