The terrorist Boko Haram sect continued its reign of terror yesterday, killing no fewer than 45 worshippers in separate suicide bombings in two mosques in Maiduguri, Borno State and Yola, Adamawa State.
In Adamawa, 27 worshipers were killed and 96 injured around 2pm during the launch of a new mosque in Jambutu, a suburb of Yola.
In Maiduguri, 18 worshipers were killed and about 20 others injured when the suicide bomber attacked a mosque in Jiddari Polo area of the troubled town around 5am.
Eyewitnesses said the Yola attack occurred shortly after the commencement of Friday afternoon prayers.
They stated that the suicide bomber sneaked into the mosque and detonated the bomb.
A member of the first aid group of Jama’atul Bid’a Wa Ikhamatus Sunnah (JIBWIS) Mallam Yusuf Osama also confirmed that the suicide bomber detonated his explosives shortly after the Friday prayers commenced.
Osama added: “It was a gory scenario; many people were killed in the blast and we are busy evacuating dead bodies and injured victims to hospital. The suicide bomber wanted to get access to the main bowl of the mosque so that he would cause massive havoc but before he reached the building, the bomb was detonated. The decapitated head of the suicide bomber was lying among the mangled bodies of the victims.”
The Adamawa State coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA,) Alhaji Saad Bello said the injured victims of the attack were receiving treatment at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Yola
The Public Relations Officer of FMC Yola, Mallam Adamu Dodo also confirmed that several victims of the bomb blast had been evacuated to the hospital for treatment.
He did not disclose the number of casualties but he said most of the victims needed blood transfusion.
Dodo said the hospital ran out of blood and would need blood donors to come forward.
He described the incident as barbaric and inhuman.
Another eyewitness in Jambutu alleged that soldiers drafted to the scene opened fire on the crowd and killed about three people.
“When the first batch of soldiers came, they started beating people with horse whips which caused uproar as the worshipers retaliated by pelting the soldiers with stones,” alleged the witness.
A youth vigilante source, Modu Kyari told our correspondent on phone that the attack on the mosque in Maiduguri was carried out by a lone suicide bomber who mixed with the worshippers for the early morning prayers at about 5:00 am.
Kyari said the youth vigilante and emergency workers quickly moved in to evacuate the corpses and assist the injured to the hospital.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Maiduguri also confirmed the attack.
The agency’s spokesman in Northeast, AbdulKadir Ibrahim in a text message to our correspondent said: “There was a bomb blast at a mosque behind a magistrate court in Polo area in Maiduguri. The suicide bomber detonated the bomb during the early morning Subh prayer, six people were killed. Rescue officials have concluded search and rescue efforts while the injured have been taken to hospitals within Maiduguri.”
Following the suicide attack, residents of Jiddari are now living in fear. They are afraid that the community may be attacked again.
A resident of the area, Solomon Emmanuel said the fear was because they suspect that some suicide bombers are now living in the area.
Emmanuel said three strange boys believed to be suicide bombers were seen on Thursday evening in the area before the blast.
He added: “When some youth in the area mobilised to get them arrested, they fled and what we witnessed today (Friday) was the explosion at the mosque believed to have been carried out by one of these boys.
“The other two suspects are still at large. There could be more attacks and everyone is afraid here. The youth vigilantes are on red alert and the people have been sensitised to keep watch over the area.”
These attacks are coming on the heels of the warning by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai of an impending all-out war against the terrorists in the North-east in a matter of days.
This upsurge in attacks is also coming despite assurances by the military to annihilate the terrorists by December.
Over 1500 people have been killed by Boko Haram in the last five months in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
On Thursday, it emerged that the military authorities had agreed to bring back South African mercenaries to help tame the terrorists.
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