The Kaduna state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Jinjiri Abubakar, has put the casualty figure in Sunday’s massive bomb blast in Kaduna at five.
Briefing journalists in his office this afternoon, Mr. Abubakar also said 16 injured victims were receiving treatments in various hospitals in the metropolis.
The casualty figure given by the commissioner is far lower than the accounts of eyewitnesses and reporters who visited the scene.
Eyewitnesses and reporters had said several charred bodies littered the scene while about eight persons were confirmed dead by rescue workers.
Nigeria’s emergency agency and the police are reputed for playing down on the numbers of casualties of similar incidents in the past.
Giving details of the incident, Mr. Abubakar said two cars were used in today’s attack on Kaduna, northern Nigeria’s political capital.
He said the police had received intelligence report that the two vehicles were heading towards Kakuri/Sabon Tasha axis for a deadly mission.
The commisioner said the police moved swiftly to track the vehicles down and halt their mission but that the two cars exploded while on transit.
“The two vehicles were pursued by Detective Corporal Francis Marcus, and then suddenly one of the vehicles hit the other, thereby causing a serious bomb explosion between the two vehicles on Junction road by Sardauna Crescent in Kaduna,” Mr. Abubakar said.
“The explosion was massive which resulted in the death of the suicide bomber and five persons with 16 people injured victims who were passersby.”
He explained that the police and other security agencies were investigating the incident and would soon release a final report to the public.
“I want to appeal to the people of the state to remain calm and to go about their lawful businesses and to report any suspicious movement to security agents for further investigation and action,”he added.