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7 die, 13 injured in Yola IDPs camp explosion

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The Adamawa Government confirmed that seven people died and 13 were injured in an explosion that occurred at the Malkohi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp near Yola, on Friday morning. The state Commissioner for Information, Malam Ahmad Sajoh, confirmed the incident to newsmen after a visit to the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, where the injured persons were receiving treatment.

Sajoh said four officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) were among the injured persons.

He also said that another blast was reported in Madagali, but that the casualty figure was still unknown.

“I just got the report of another blast in Madagali but as I speak to you, I am still trying to get the actual picture of the situation.

“I got the report from officials of the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA),” Sajoh said.

He said the state government would foot the bill of all those injured in the Malkohi incident. NAN reports that following the Malkohi blast, security operatives have commenced fresh screening of all IDPs at the camp.

All the IDPs where gathered in one section of the camp as policemen, soldiers and other officials of the camp embarked on the screening.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Gabriel Adaji, who spoke on the development, said security had been beefed up at the camp to forestall a reoccurrence.

Adaji said it was possible that the persons that came with the explosive that rocked the camp joined the IDPs that were brought to the camp on Thursday night from Madagali.

” We suspect one of those IDPs that came newly, possibly they beat the security checks to cause this mayhem.

” It is unfortunate. We are now trying our best to see that such incident does not happen again,” he said.

The NEMA Camp Coordinator in Adamawa, Mr Saad Bello, confirmed that a total of 298 IDPs from Madagali and 17 from Sambisa forest were brought to the camp on Thursday night.

At least two people were killed Friday in a blast at a camp for people displaced by the Boko Haram conflict in Adamawa, the emergency services said.

“There was a blast at Malkohi IDP (internally displaced persons) camp in Yola around 11 o’clock this morning (1000 GMT),” Red Cross official Aliyu Maikano said. State police confirmed the blast.

There were conflicting reports of the death toll at the camp, one of several in the capital of Adamawa state housing men, women and children who have fled the brutal, six-year conflict.

Adamawa state police spokesman Othman Abubakar told AFP two people were killed and seven injured, while the Red Cross’ Maikano put the toll at three dead and nine injured.

Suleiman Mohammed, director of response, relief and rehabilitation at the Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA), said five were killed and 20 injured.

The Adamawa state governor, Jibrilla Bindow, was reported as telling a meeting of northern governors that children were among the dead.

“There were NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) officials, IDPs and some from the AUN (American University of Nigeria)” among the casualties, said Mohammed.

Lionel Rawlings, head of security at the AUN, which is based in Yola, confirmed student volunteers were injured by flying debris.

“None was in direct contact with the explosion but there was flying shrapnel. We dodged the bullet,” he said.

Abubakar and Mohammed both said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device left by tents in the camp, which is just outside the city to the south and near an army base.

Security had been tight after hundreds of women and children held hostage by Boko Haram were brought to the camp after they were rescued by the military earlier this year.

Armed soldiers manned the gates and carried out checks on vehicles and passengers, AFP reporters witnessed on a visit to the camp in May.

“Our men are there,” said Abubakar. “They are trying to find if there are any other explosives.”


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