Maiduguri — Many people have been killed and several others injured following an explosion on the outskirt of Damboa town of Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.
It was gathered that unsuspecting female suicide bombers approached Damboa Shehuri and Abachari and detonated the explosives strapped in their bodies, forcing the locals to scamper for safety.
Police authorities in the state have put the death toll at 20 but witnesses said the figure had risen to over 30 from the explosion suspected to be coordinated attacks by Boko Haram militants.
There were conflicting reports as to how the attacks were carried out because there were no GSM services in the area.
Police spokesman at the state Command, DSP Edet Okon, said in a statement last night that the attack occurred Saturday at about 8:45pm at Abachari area on the outskirt of Damboa LGA.
An official of Damboa local council, who is in Maiduguri seeking medical support for the injured, said 20 people who had been identified by their relatives were buried.
"More than thirty people have been reported dead. Our chairman is there in Damboa while we are here in Maiduguri, we would get the actual figures when he comes but for now, about 15 people with critical injuries have been brought to hospitals in Maiduguri. One of them died on arrival while the rest are being attended to," he said.
Spokesman of the Borno State Police Command, DSP Edet Okon DSP Okon explained that the wounded and the dead were evacuated to a hospital while scene of the incident was sanitized by a deployment of police EOD unit.
"At the sound of the explosion, personnel of the Nigeria Police and members of the Civilian JTF mobilised to the scene and discovered 20 dead bodies and 48 injured persons," he said.
He also quoted the Commissioner of Police Borno State, CP Damian Chukwu, urging members of the public to continue to be vigilant and watchful.
While some witnesses attributed the attack to Boko Haram suicide bombers, others said it was from bombs fired by artillery.
But the Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj.-Gen. Rogers Nicholas, denied the claim, saying the killings were caused by suicide attacks and not military artillery.
"There was nothing like an attack from the military artillery. You can see the pictures of six female bombers who detonated their explosives and as a result, 20 persons were killed while others were injured," he said.
Rogers urged people to disregard the claim that people were killed by the military and not by suicide bombers.
The District Head of Damboa, Modu-Zannah Maina, who described the incident as "shocking and disturbing" said the attack was perpetrated by female suicide bombers.
Maina lamented that a lot of people that were affected were mostly children adding that many victims were injured.
"We are here in this hospital to check our people affected by Saturday's bomb blasts. So far, the victims have been responding to treatment," he said.
The Chairperson of Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Hajiya Yabawa Kolo, who also confirmed the incident, said the agency had deployed its personnel to evacuate wounded persons to the hospital for quick medical attention.