The casualty figure in the Zaria bomb explosion has risen from 20 to 25, the Kaduna state government has said.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai had reported the killing of 20 persons moments after the incident.
But in an official statement issued about an hour after the explosion, the spokesperson for Mr. El-Rufai, Samuel Aruwan, said 25 people, including a two-year-old died.
Mr. Aruwan said 32 others were injured and were being treated at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria.
The Zaria attack came hours after a suicide bomb attack at a Mosque in Kano on Monday.
Similar explosions killed 44 people in Jos, Plateau State, on Sunday, the same day six persons were killed at a church in Potiskum, Yobe State, by a suicide bomber.
A resident of Zaria, Umar Mohammed, had told PREMIUM TIMES that Tuesday’s blast occurred at the local government secretariat where civil servants’ screening was taking place.
He said it was unclear who the bomber was, but said the attacker detonated explosives in the middle of the crowd.
The statement by Mr. Aruwan said, “The city of Zaria today suffered a terrible act of infamy. Terrorists detonated explosives that killed and injured several persons at the secretariat of the Sabon-Gari local government council. The casualty count as at 12 noon is 25 fatalities, including a two-year old child. Thirty-two injured persons are being treated at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria and other hospitals in the city.
“The blast went off as the residents welcomed the new chairman of the interim management committee of the local government to his office at the secretariat. Some local government staff from Lere and Ikara were also undergoing biometric verification at the venue.
“The Kaduna State Government has expressed its sadness at this mindless attack on our citizens. It has condoled with the victims and is coordinating the treatment of the survivors,
Speaking at the scene of the blast, the governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai sympathised with the direct victims and the residents of Zaria. He prayed Allah to grant the souls of the deceased victims peaceful repose.
“He condemned the attack as an inhuman act of terror, and he urged the people of Kaduna State as a whole to be vigilant, even as they preserve the peace. The governor said residents of the state should promptly report all suspicious persons and activities to the security agencies and community leaders.
“The governor further announced the deployment of extra security forces across the state. Malam El-Rufai urged the people of the state to shun large gatherings but, where that is impossible, to exercise and practise maximum vigilance and vigorous checks on persons, vehicles and luggage.
“The state government will announce further steps to strengthen our security and safety in the next few days, and call on our people to cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies in these trying times.”
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