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Nigeria: Maiduguri Blast - Hospital Sources Put Death Toll At 43, As Governor Shettima Weeps

Photo: Leadership
Car blast.

Official figure provided by a hospital source in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, indicates that the Tuesday bomb blast at the city's densely populated commercial area actually killed 43 persons.

The Nigerian military had vaguely quoted "scores of death", while the police authority in the state put the figure of death casualty in the same attack at 17.

The state governor, Kashim Shettima, who was outside the state at the time of the incident but had to fly into the state capital via a chattered flight to sympathize with injured victims, at the hospital wept profusely at the sight of injured patients.

A hospital staff at the State Specialists Hospital, who asked not to be named, told journalists on Tuesday after the blast, "we received 43 corpses into the hospital mortuary and admitted several injured victims".

The source, a mortuary attendant added that "so far the numbers have been reduced in the morgues because families who were able to identified the corpses of their relatives have been coming to take them for burial. Others that are burnt beyond recognition or badly battered by the bomb are still there in the mortuary".

Governor Shettima had flown into Maiduguri at about 5 p.m. Wednesday, driving straight to the scene of the blast before proceeding to the Maiduguri Nursing Home where he sympathized with six victims of the bomb blast that were on admission there.

Shortly after the hospital visit, Governor Shettima flew back via the same chattered flight back to Abuja, saying he has a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan.

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