Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
No fewer than 31 persons have been killed and 41 injured in multiple explosions at a Borno town late Sunday after three suicide bombers infiltrated a tea joint and commercial area.
Two female and a male suicide bombers invaded a local tea joint and commercial area adjacent a cinema centre with explosives at Konduga, a community in the central part of Borno, some 37 kilometres to the state capital on Sunday night.
An official of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) said the bombers detonated explosives at the scenes, killing at least 17 people. SEMA Director of Search and Rescue, Usman Kachalla, said the incident occurred at about 8pm on Sunday but the agency’s rescue workers could not access the town until Monday morning.
“At about 8pm on Sunday, there was a loud explosion at Konduga but we couldn’t access the place in the night. This morning (Monday), we brought our men and I can confirm to you that about 30 people were killed,” Kachalla told journalists at Konduga.
Some residents of Konduga who accompanied their wounded family members to the hospital said 19 people were buried on Monday morning after the night blasts. They said 17 corpses were recovered from the scenes but more victims later died early on Monday morning due to “inadequate medical facilities to tackle the emergency.”
Chief Medical Officer of the State Specialist Hospital, Dr Labara Bello, said a total of 41 victims of the explosions were brought from Konduga to the hospital in Maiduguri. She said one of the victims died on arrival at the hospital, three on referral at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) while eight have been discharged, leaving the number of the victims still in the hospital to 29.
The state governor, Babagana Zulum, in his first reaction to the incident during his visit to the victims at the hospital described the attack as sad. He said the information given to him by the hospital Chief Medical Officer indicated that about 30 people died in the blasts. He confirmed that more people died hours after the incident.
“From the information provided by the chief medical officer of the hospital, about 30 people were killed although he could not state the exact casualty figure. He directed the hospital management to give the victims special attention. He assured that he was already in talks with the security agencies to tackle recent security threats in the state.
Nobody has claimed responsibility but it was believed the explosions were carried out by Boko Haram group because the blasts bore the mark of previous attacks by the insurgents.