BY NDAHI MARAMA, MAIDUGURI
It was another tragic day in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, yesterday, after twin explosions reportedly killed about 100 people, some of them football fans.
The first explosion was said to have killed dozens of the fans in a ‘viewing centre’ when suspected improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were detonated at about 6pm.
The second explosion, it was learnt, went off as rescuers rushed to the scene, killing many more.
In another location, Dugolong village, in Askira Uba local government area of the state, about 20 persons were allegedly killed.
It was not clear if the incident was a terror attack or resulted from airstrikes as an airforce fighter jet was said to have been spotted around the scene at the time of attack.
Meanwhile, a female student of the state college of education, Waka, in Biu LGA was said to have been slaughtered by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Friday.
In the Maiduguri attack, fans, according to an eye witness, were watching football in a ‘viewing centre’ when the explosion occurred.
“The explosion apparently left about 70 dead,” the eye witness said.
The blast was said to have attracted many people nearby including wedding guests who launched a rescue operation.
“Moments after the rescue operation got underway, another explosion went off, killing many more and wounding several others.”
The eye witness believed the second explosion was detonated from two pick up vans disguised as selling firewood.
“As I am talking to you now, we have counted over 70 corpses. Even then, some have been taken to hospital, dead or injured. We probably have at least 100 dead,” he added.
In the Dugolong attack, report said insurgents laid an ambush which killed over 20 people, while another version said the deaths resulted from airstrikes launched by government forces.
The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Lawal Tanko, confirmed the incident but could not give casuality figures. But a security source, confirmed the incidents thus: “Yes, there were twin explosions in Maiduguri metropolis on Saturday evening. There was also an attack in Dugolong on Friday. Although we are yet to ascertain those behind the Dugolong incident, preliminary investigation revealed that the attack took place when a fighter jet was firing at suspected insurgents killing over 20 of them”.
At press time, a fighter jet was seen hovering over Maiduguri while most residents could not wait for the 9pm curfew imposed on the Borno capital before rushing back home leaving almost all the streets deserted.
Yesterday’s bombings came in the wake of the insurgency attack on a school in Yobe State last week which killed about 59 students; and another raid in Adamawa State with over two dozens deaths.