•Another blast claims 15 lives
By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
A suicide bomber, yesterday, sneaked into a mosque along Ali Kotoko Road, near Monday Market in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, leaving 26 dead and 28 critically injured, security sources assisting in the evacuation of victims said.
The incident took place at about 3:45pm when Muslim faithful gathered to perform their afternoon prayer.
Unconfirmed sources, however, revealed that apart from the mosque explosion, another blast rocked some area of the Monday Market with fewer casualty figure.
The incidents came barely 12 hours after Boko Haram gunmen were repelled by the military in Maiduguri, which also claimed many lives.
The mosque explosion, according to Modu Fugu of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), occurred when the prayer session was about to commence with over five dozens of people in attendance.
“We were terrified by the loud explosion that rocked the mosque near bicycle sellers market and other shops when the prayer session was cut and worshippers fled to safety. But many were killed and scores injured”, Fugu stated.
Borno State Police Command confirmed the mosque blast, but said it was yet to get the casualty figure. The Red Cross and volunteers were reportedly involved in the rescue operation.
In another incident, yesterday, 15 residents were reportedly dead when suspected members of Boko Haram, in a convoy of vehicles and motorcycles laden with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), rocket grenades and anti-aircraft guns attacked Malari village in Borno State. 19 others in Bulunkutu Saleke, Gomari and Ajilari areas of the state were said to have been wounded.
The killings, according to Ibrahim Yakubu of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), were caused by the insurgents’ sporadic gunshots, explosions and shelling on the four villages that commenced from 12.35 – 2.45 a.m.
Confirming the incident in Maiduguri, a source at Borno Police Command said many residents of Gomari, Bulunkutu Saleke and Ajilari were killed during the attacks.