21 February 2013

Nigeria: Explosion Kills Three in Maiduguri, As Boko Haram Denies Offering Ceasefire

Photo: Vanguard
Bombing continues as citizens advocate for talks with Boko Haram

Maiduguri — Three persons including the bomber were confirmed killed in Maiduguri yesterday as a bomb thrown by suspected member of the Boko Haram sect at a moving patrol vehicle of the Joint Task Force (JTF) exploded at the centre of the troubled town.

The bomb exploded just as pamphlets were distributed by suspected members of the Boko Haram sect in parts of the town insisting that there was no resolution to cease fire by the group.

THISDAY gathered that pamphlets were seen distributed on Monday evening by some people who fan the Boko Haram crisis in Maiduguri, Gwange, Hausari and Old Maiduguri stating that at no time had the sect agreed with government to cease fire.

The JTF in a press statement by its spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa confirmed the killing of the three persons including the bombers as a result of the explosion. He equally revealed that two persons were injured.

Musa in the release said "an Improvised Explosive Device targeted at JTF patrol team exploded at Post Office Round About in Maiduguri metropolis at about 1:00 pm today (yesterday) Wednesday 20 February, 2013. The explosion led to the death of three civilians including the bomber and wounded two others. A JTF vehicle was damaged."

In the release, he also said: "The attention of the Joint Task Force Operation RESTORE ORDER has been drawn to some leaflets allegedly printed and circulated by Boko Haram Terrorists containing message from leader of JAMA'ATU AHLUS SUNNAH LIDDA'AWATI WAL JIHAD Abubakar Shekau threatening and warning government, civil servants, politicians, traditional rulers and security agencies that the sect has not made any reconciliation with the government and that it has not declared cease fire."

Musa urged law abiding members of the public to totally disregard such publication and consider it as part of the terrorists' propaganda strategy to keep the civil populace in captivity and perpetual fear with the view to unleashing more terror on innocent citizens.

Though the JTF claimed that three persons were killed and two injured in the explosion, residents of the area who spoke to journalists said no less than ten people were killed in the explosion which made many persons to desert major roads in the town.

A source told journalists that the bomb which exploded at the Post Office area killed over ten persons, insisting that he saw more than ten persons lying lifeless on the streets, with several others taking to their feet with varied degrees of injury.

One of the people that were right at the spot of the explosion who later spoke to journalists, said: "Alhamdulillah that I survived today's blast." He said he was temporarily deaf in both ears as a result of the explosion and that it took him about an hour before his earring was restored.

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