BY NDAHI MARAMA, MAIDUGURI with agency report
Dozens of worshippers were killed Thursday when suicide bombers targeted a mosque in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, witnesses said.
“All the people in the mosque died. Not a single one escaped,” said Muhtari Ahmadu, a trader near the scene, while another witness said he had counted at least 42 bodies after the blasts.
Also the explosions was suspected to have been masterminded by dreaded members of Boko Haram suicide bombers who attacked various mosques and public gathering in Mai Borti and Kangaleri villages of Molai in Maiduguri metropolis living scores of worshippers and innocent people dead. Sources and residents said.
Molai is located south and just 10 kilometres drive to Maiduguri that had witnessed series of suicide attacks near a military formations this year. The road linking the village from Maiduguri- Damboa – Biu had been closed to motorists in the past one year despite directive by the Chief of Army Staff, Luitenant General Tukur Buratai to reopen the road.
The incident according to sources also left several others seriously injured as people scampered for safety on eve day of the swearing in of the newly appointed Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Mamman Durkwa who replaced Late Umar Zannah, who died at his hotel room in Adamawa state while on an official assignment a couple of months ago.
Various outskirts and some surrounding villages of Maiduguri had been witnessing series of suicide attacks in the last one month living hundreds of people dead and injured, even as the controversial dateline given to security operatives to end the six-year insurgency by President Muhammad Buhari still remain in December this year.
According to some residents who escaped from the scene siad, “Male Suicide bombers detonated multiple improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in different locations while over 30 Muslims were in one of the mosque at Molai outskirts of Maiduguri metropolis observing their Magrib prayer around 6.10 pm Thursday evening”.
Another source who spoke to our correspondent in anonymity said” Muslim were just observing their magrib prayers in a mosque at Molai then a heavy loud sound echoed the air and next we heard lucky survivors shouting it is bomb blast.
“We started running up and down, motorists drived and rushed out of the area including keke NAPEP riders with their families , everywhere was confused and panic took over the entire place.
“You need to see how residents were running, some even had to park their belongings and leave the area tensed and confused as nobody knows what will happen next, but we are yet to get the details of what happened and how many people were killed and how many were wounded.”
“Although security operatives have reached the scene with other humanitarian services as well as men of the police anti- bomb squad I am not in a position to give you the detail of casualties yet”. The source insisted.
A phone call put through to the Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman Kukasheka to confirm the incident, directed our Correspondent to contact his Deputy of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Colonel Tukur Gusau whose phone lines were busy as at press time.