No fewer than 31 persons have been confirmed dead after an explosion in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State.
The explosion was suspected to be an attack by suicide bombers sent by the Boko Haram terror group.
Villagers in Abachari town, in Damboa Local Government Area, were observing the Eid-el-Fitri celebrations when the explosion occurred on Saturday evening.
The attack, according to the Borno State Police Commissioner, Damian Chukwu, occurred at about 8:45pm, Saturday. He said a loud explosion was heard at Abacahri village, along Damboa/Chibok road: “The DPO mobilised with our men from the Special Anti-Robbery Sqard and Civilian JTF to the scene and found 31 people dead and 48 others injured.
“Some of the bodies found were dismembered, shattered, indicating that the explosion came from an explosive device.”
Chukwu said that the police were yet to confirm if the explosion was as a result of an improvised explosive device or a rocket-propelled grenade.
The injured have since been rushed to Damboa General Hospital, while some others were conveyed to the Teaching Hospital in Maiduguri for medical attention.
Chukwu disclosed that the number of victims were on the high side because most of them were returning from Eid-el-Fitr holiday when the attackers struck.
The military, however, said the attack was carried out by suicide bombers.
Theatre commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Rogers Nicholas, dispelled rumours suggesting that the explosion was from military artillery. He said six suicide bombers were responsible for the explosion.
He, however, assured residents that troops were on the ground to stabilise the affected area and forestall any further untoward occurrence.
The National Emergency Management Agency disclosed that 12 of the injured were in critical condition, while the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was organising a chopper to evacuate them to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.