16 February 2013

Nigeria: Two Bombers Killed as Explosions Rock Maiduguri

Maiduguri — Multiple blasts suspected to have been ignited by the Boko Haram members have killed two suspected insurgents while soldiers and many civilians sustained injuries.

The detonations of the two bombs in separate locations were targeted at operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF).

Scores of houses, tents, shops and vehicles were completely razed down while social and economic activities were abruptly stopped soon after the explosions that forced people to scamper for safety.

The first explosion went off around 4.30pm close to the Gamboru Market, witnesses and the JTF said while the second bomb exploded around 6.30pm very close to the Baga Fish Market.

It was gathered when the bomb at the Gamboru area exploded, the market and adjoining business premises were filled to capacity as many traders, villagers and worshippers had thronged to Maiduguri from neighbouring villages and towns for the Friday prayers and weekend shopping.

Witnesses said the bomb hit a pick up van that was filled with soldiers who were patrolling the area, a development which irked other troops to move to the area.

Witnesses said "out of anger" some of the soldiers set nearby shops on fire even though the JTF said it was the conflagration of the blast that burnt houses.

The JTF said only two Boko Haram insurgents who planted the explosion died while a soldier was injured and there were no civilian casualty.

But witnesses described the incident at Gamboru as troublesome. "I saw many soldiers and civilians on the ground," a rickshaw (Keke NAPEP) rider said.

A source at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UNIMAID) said at least six dead bodies had been deposited at the accident and emergency section of the hospital.

Spokesman of the JTF, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa confirmed the Gamboru attack in an emailed statement sent to newsmen last night.

In the second blast close to the Baga Fish Market, witnesses said a loud bang was heard around 6.30pm when traders and other people were tidying up the day's business.

"The blast rocked the area when some JTF vehicles were heading towards the Maimalari Barrack in the northern part of Maiduguri," a witness said.

He said there was pandemonium in the area as beggars, traders, customers and commercial bus and taxi drivers scampered for safety.

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