Pandemonium broke out in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State yesterday when a suicide bomber suspected to be a member of Boko Haram detonated an impoverished explosive device (IED) at the popular Maiduguri Monday market, killing 17 persons and injuring 69 others.
In addition to the bombing in Maiduguri, another bomb blast occurred in Kaduna last night but no causalities were recorded.
This is just as Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), yesterday met with operators of Tank farms in Apapa and asked them to be more vigilant around their operational bases, while also promptly reporting vehicles that cannot be accounted for in their areas of operation to the police and security agencies.
It also emerged that the United States is in possession of evidence that Boko Haram receives financial support from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an offshoot of the jihadist group founded by Osama bin Laden.
The Maiduguri explosion, which occurred at 8.30 am affected mostly petty traders and members of the youth vigilante group, popularly called Civilian JTF in the area. The Civilian JTF were said to have lost nine of their members.
The chairman, Sector 3 of the youth volunteer group, Iliya Saidu said the vehicle carrying the explosives broke the mirror of a commercial tricycle, Keke NAPEP, causing a quarrel that attracted the attention of several of his men.
He said it was during mediation by the Civilian JTF whose members also assisted to push the vehicle off the road that the IED was detonated.
He said “Nine of my members were killed by the blast, we were able to identify them through the vest we gave them and we have already deposited their corpses at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) and the State Specislists Hospital.”
An eyewitness who also spoke to reporters, said the explosive was inside a 505 saloon car loaded with charcoal, insisting however that over 50 persons were killed in the early morning explosion.
The incident occurred early in the morning when people were arriving the market and it coincided with the time when people brought vegetables into the market, the eyewitness said. SEE MORE ON PAGE 2