About 30 people have lost their lives in Maiduguri the Borno State Capital when suspected Boko Haram assailants attacked a mosque on Thursday night.
The explosion reportedly took place in a mosque around Molai area of Maiduguri when Muslim worshippers were observing their Magrib prayers late in the evening.
The bombers slipped into the mosque disguised as worshippers, witnesses said.
One of the attackers set off the first blast when he entered the mosque, they said. The second bomber detonated his explosives soon after, when many had rushed to the scene to help the first victims.
“When rescuers and sympathizers gathered in front of the place, the second one went off, killing many of them,” Marte, one of the witnesses said.
According to a PREMIUM TIMES report, officials of the Civilian Joint Task Force, who participated in the evacuation of victims from the scene of Thursday night’s bombings in Maiduguri said at least 26 bodies were evacuated from the scene of the blast.
Twenty-five others were rushed to hospital with various degrees of injuries, the officials said.
The officials, who requested not to be named because they had no permission to speak on the matter, said the blasts were carried out by two suicide bombers.
“One of the bombers attacked a mosque during the Maghrib prayers; the other detonated the bomb at the nearby mosque, almost immediately,” one of PREMIUM TIMES’ sources said.
The Police have confirmed residents’ belief that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.
The Police said in a statement by the Commissioner of Police that “at about 6.35 PM on Thursday, two suspected suicide bombers detonated IEDS in and outside a Mosque at Mulai.
“The mosque consequently collapsed injuring many people praying.
“While the number of deaths is about 14 so far, including the two bombers, casualties have been evacuated to UMTH and Specialist Hospitals in Maiduguri.”
He added that investigation was in progress as security operatives have secured the area.
However in a conflicting report, a trader near the scene, Mallam Muhtari Ahmadu said that “All the people in the mosque died. Not a single one escaped.”
“We counted 42 dead bodies outside the mosque,” added Amadu Marte, a vigilante supporting the security forces in the fight against the Islamist Boko Haram group, which has carried out repeated attacks in the region.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but suspicion fell on Boko Haram, which was founded in Borno’s state capital Maiduguri in 2009.
The city has been hit repeatedly since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power on May 29 with a vow to crush the insurgency.
Nigeria’s military claims the Islamist militants are a spent force and that troops have driven them from their camps and occupied territory in the remote region.
But guerrilla-style attacks have continued, including across the border. At the weekend, 41 people were killed in triple explosions in Baga Sola, on the Chadian side of Lake Chad, where Nigeria meets Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
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