22 December 2012

Nigeria: Suicide Bombers Storm Kano - MTN, Airtel Offices Targetted - Two Killed

Coordinated suicide attacks on two telecommunication services provider, MTN and Airtel, in Kano early yesterday left the bombers dead and a civilian injured.

Affected are Airtel and MTN facilities that serve as switch stations cum offices both located in Bompai industrial area of Kano metropolis.

One of the suicide bombers hit the Airtel office in Kano around 8.45am, while the MTN switch office came under attack almost the same time.

It was not immediately clear how the bomber gained access into the heavily fortified Airtel headquarters which has been under protection of combat ready Joint Military Taskforce, JTF, officials over the past few months.

Spokesman for the JTF, Captain Ikediche Iweha, told Sunday Vanguard on phone that " two suicide bombers died from the attacks while a generator operator attached to the Airtel facility is recuperating in hospital".

But, Bayo Osho, the generator operator with Airtel, told reporters on his sick bed that two suicide bombers in two different vehicles attacked the Airtel facility, adding that one of the cars rammed into the building and paved the way for the second one laden with explosives.

According to Osho, "the first car forced its way in and cleared the way for the second car laden with explosives". The victim pointed out that the driver of the second car immediately jumped out of his vehicle and engaged the security personnel and in minute "what followed was loud bang that sent me on the floor".

However unconfirmed reports had it that one of the suicide bombers was captured in the premises of the Airtel office. JTF spoksman Iweha refused to confirm or deny the arrest.

"Yes I can confirm to you we carried a raid at Tukuntawa and want to assure you that we are on top of the situation and there is nothing to worry about", the JTF spokesman maintained.

Iweha explained that troops deployed to secure the MTN switch foiled the attack, adding that the explosion affected a car parked close to the scene.

Security sources however confided in Sunday Vanguard that four people died as a result of the blast at the MTN switch, stressing that "the blast affected occupants of a car parked within the vicinity of the incident."

Sunday Vanguard also learnt that the Airtel facility blown up by the bomber is a switch that serves seven states in the North, while the MTN switch serves 13 states.

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