The police in Yobe have confirmed that the suicide bomber who killed 15 people in an explosion in Damaturu, Yobe State, was about 10 years old.
The police spokesperson, Toyin Gbadegeshin, who addressed journalists in Yobe, said the girl detonated the explosive device at the gate of the market, killing herself and 14 others.
He said, “a female suicide bomber, aged about 10 years, detonated the explosive device at a crowded main entrance of the popular Sunday Market, killing 15 people, including 10 females and five males, while injuring 47 others.”
He said five other units of undetonated explosives were recovered at the scene of the explosion.
The police spokesperson said that suicide bombers used mortars similar to those recovered from suspected bombers on the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway on Monday. Three policemen and five suicide bombers were killed in the Monday incident.
Mr. Gbadegeshin urged the public to be cautious and remain observant of suspected persons, bags and movements around their environments.
At least 23 people have been killed in two separate suicide bomb attacks in Damaturu in the last one week.
Meanwhile, traders at the Damaturu market have said the girl who blew herself had two other accomplices who were apprehended.
Abdullahi Haruna, a trader, told journalists that “the blast occurred at about 9:30 a.m.”
“It was a messy scene to behold. More than a dozen persons were battered by the bomb – beyond recognition; many other victims who did not die, were left with damaging injuries that they may not survive.”
Another trader said another intending female suicide bomber, who managed to make her way into the market before she was spotted by local vigilante, had to be shot at before she later confessed that there were three of them on a mission to cause multiple blasts.
“The woman who was injured by the gunshot fired at her later confessed to the security operatives that they were three in number sent by suspected Boko Haram terrorists on a mission to detonate the bombs”, Bukar Saliu a trader at the market, said.
“The woman confessed that their third company was asked to take her explosives to the hospital with the intention of detonating bomb when people coming to see the casualties gathered there. And when the security people rushed to the hospital, they were able to identify the woman and disarm her.”