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Maiduguri Multiple Blasts Kill 55, As Army Recovers Two More Local Gov’ts

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COORDINATED multiple bomb blasts, separately detonated by three suspected female Boko Haram suicide bombers, Saturday, rocked the Maiduguri Monday Market (MMM), Borno Express Terminus motor park and Baga road fish market, killing 55 people and injuring 86 others within an hour.

This came as the Nigerian Army through a signed statement announced the recovery of two more local governments from the insurgents.

  The multiple blasts according to the military and a member of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), were simultaneously coordinated by insurgents to “target and hit” three populous markets and motor park centres in Maiduguri metropolis.

 The Female suicide bomber who operated at the Monday market, detonated the bomb while she was been checked at the Tobacco Roundabout at about 12.05pm.

 “As the female traders and customers were being screened at the market entrance, one of the bombers in veil and on queue detonated the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) hidden in her body and killed 19 people on the spot. Another 18 persons on queue to enter the market were also injured and evacuated to the hospital for treatment,” said the vigilante youths at the blast scene.

  “This market blast was the second; following the one that hit the Baga fish market by a separate female suicide bomber. The report we just received as we evacuated the bodies and the injured to hospital, also indicated that the IED was detonated at 11.20am, killing 18 people and injuring 24 others. 

  As the Nigerian Red Cross, CJTF and other members of Volunteer Group continue to ferry the bodies and injured ones to Specialists Hospital, Maiduguri, another blast rocked the metropolis at the Borno Express Terminus Motor Park, killing 17 passengers and passers-by on the Airport Road at about 12.24pm.

  “I saw four ambulances conveying the bodies and injured ones along this road to the hospital,” said Yakubu Isa, a Newspaper vendor at the Post Office

Area.

   He said four other patrol vehicles of CJTF, followed the ambulances that conveyed the blast victims to the hospital at about noon yesterday.

   Authorities of the Specialists Hospital also confirmed that at about 1.35pm, 25 bodies were brought in by Nigerian Red Cross and CJTF to be deposited in the morgue.

  An anonymous attendant of Accident and Emergency Unit (A&EU) of the hospital also told The Guardian that besides 25 bodies, the hospital is expecting more from the other blast scenes at Borno Express Terminus and the market roundabout.

  On the total number of casualties, he said so far 36 bodies had been deposited in the morgue, while the A&EU was battling to save the lives of close to a hundred injured people.

      The recaptured two Local Government Areas in Bornu State, in continuation of onslaught against Boko Haram insurgents are Mafa and Marte, which were liberated on Wednesday and Friday respectively, after months of occupation by the insurgents.

  A statement from the Directorate of Army Public Relations, said the gallant Nigerian troops recovered a large quantity of high caliber arms and ammunition, including anti-aircraft guns from the insurgents, after the operations.

   The statement signed by the acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, said: “It is significant to note that our troops did not suffer any casualty during these operations”.

   According to him, the Nigerian troops are now conducting search and mop up operations in the recovered territories, just as they are making efforts to recover more grounds from the fleeing terrorists.

   With the capture of Mafa, Marte, and the Chadian troops holding fort in Dikwa, he said, the international routes from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Central African Republic are now fully secured.

“ With this positive development, the security of the area has significantly improved. It is hoped that international trade and socio-economic activities would be restored along this corridor,” he said. 



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