By Ndahi Marama & Joseph Erunke
No fewer than 20 persons were, Saturday night, killed in fresh suicide bomb explosion at Abbatchari village in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.
But residents claimed up to 31 persons died in the attack, which also left at least 48 persons severely injured. The attack occurred at about 8:45pm.
The attack came at a time the army announced that 2,000 residents displaced by insurgency in the state had returned to their homes.
A militant leader, Babakura Kolo, said: “There were two suicide attacks and rocket-propelled grenade explosions in Damboa last night (Saturday), which killed 31 people and left several others injured.”
Another source, who corroborated Kolo’s statement, said: “Following the suicide bombings, the jihadists fired rocket-propelled grenades into the crowds that had gathered at the scene of the attacks, driving the number of casualties higher.’’
Another resident of Damboa, who gave his name as Modu Usman, said: “There were two suicide attacks and rocket-propelled grenade explosions in Damboa last night (Saturday) which killed over 40 people and left several others injured.
“The suicide bombers detonated their explosives in Shuwari and nearby Abbatchari neighbourhoods in the town in the evening yesterday (Saturday), killing and injuring many people.”
It was learned that the injured were taken to Damboa General Hospital where they are currently receiving treatment, while the dead have been evacuated to the morgue of the same hospital.
Confirming the attack, yesterday, Borno State Police Commissioner, Damian Chukwu, said 20 persons were killed.
He said: “At about quarter to nine, yesterday night (Saturday), a loud explosion was heard at Abbatchari village, along Damboa/Chibok road. The DPO mobilised our men from the SARS and civilian JTF to the scene and found 20 people dead and 48 others injured.”
2,000 residents return home, 6yrs after displacement
Meanwhile, over 2,000 residents of Gudunbali in Guzamalla Local Government Area of Borno State, who ran away from their homes in the wake of Boko Haram terrorists, have returned to their ancestral homes six years after.
The development followed the successful clearance of the terrorists in the area by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, battling the insurgents in the state.
Army spokesperson, Texas Chukwu, a Brigadier-General, in a statement, yesterday, also said the feat coincided with the flag off of Operation Last Hold, Army special operation intended to finally flush out the remnants of the terrorists in northern Borno.
The returnee Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, who, according to the statement, were assisted back to their communities by the troops of Operation Last Hold, observed Eid prayers in the headquarters of Guzamalla Local Government Area of the state.