More than 35 persons died following a twin car bomb explosions on Saturday in Maiduguri, near Ngomari-Bulumkutu, the state police command has said.
As at 8 p.m. on Saturday, the News Agency of Nigeria quoted the Commissioner of Police in Borno, Lawal Tanko, as saying that 35 bodies had been evacuated so far but that more were still being moved.
“We are still counting, so far we have counted 35 bodies. Our men are still working with rescue workers at the scene,” Mr. Tanko said.
Witnesses told newsmen that the bombs were neatly packaged inside a firewood truck, believed to have been brought into Maiduguri from the Sambisa Forest in Dam Boa Local Government Area.
The witness, Mohammed Buba, said the blasts occurred around 6 p.m. when most residents were preparing for the evening prayer.
“Nobody can say exactly how it happened, the first blast occurred just about 15 minutes before the second one.
“Only few people were injured by the first blast, but while people were trying to rescue the victims of the first blast, the second one occurred killing many people,’’ Mr. Mohammed said.
Yahaya Adamu, a mechanic living in the area, had told PREMIUM TIMES on telephone shortly after the incident that “There is heavy dust and smoke everywhere now, and I am running home now to see if my family are safe”.
The incident triggered panic in the city with residents seen rushing to their respective homes for safety.
The Boko Haram sect has in the past months intensified attacks on the northeast states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, which are under emergency rule
It has been attacking security and military installations, including barracks and airbases at will. It has also been pummeling schools, towns and villages unchallenged and ransacking highways.
This week, it slaughtered more than 29 pupils at a government boarding school in Yobe.
As the litany of atrocities lengthened, President Goodluck Jonathan claimed the Nigerian government is winning the war against the insurgency.