At least 31 persons were killed and about 48 others injured after suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers on Saturday attacked Abachari village in Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State, residents and witnesses have said.
The suicide bombers, said to be six by the army, reportedly targeted people returning home after a Sallah fair in Damboa.
The Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) spoke on the rescue efforts following the attack.
“At about quarter to nine, yesterday (Saturday) night, a loud explosion was heard at Abachari village, along Damboa/Chibok road,” he said. “The DPO mobilised our men from the SARS and the Civilian-JTF to the scene and found 20 people dead and 48 others injured.
“Some of the bodies were found shattered, indicating that the explosion came from an explosive device,” Mr Chukwu said.
The police have not been able to provide details on how the attack was carried out.
A medical personnel from the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES on phone that some of the victims were brought to the hospital.
“Other victims with less critical cases, we learned, have been taken to the Biu General hospital while some were admitted at the Damboa general hospital,” said the source who refused to be named because he is not permitted to speak with the press.
An official of the Civillian-JTF told PREMIUM TIMES that “the total number of persons that died is 31; if we must say the truth.”
“But it is now difficult for one to come out and contradict what the police is saying that only 20 people died. If you want to know the truth, you can go to Damboa and find out the number of persons that have been buried today – it is not less than 31,” said the source who asked not to be named for security reasons.
Locals Blame Military
Mr Nicholas, a major general, urged people to disregard the claim that the victims were killed by the military and not by suicide bombers.
The Borno State government had on Thursday announced a half day vehicular curfew – from 6 p.m. to 12 noon on Friday – to prevent Boko Haram attacks. The curfew restricted Islamic worshipers to pray at Eid prayer grounds near their homes.
The Sallah celebration went on without any ugly incident in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, as well as other major communities in the state.
The Damboa incident came as an isolated incident that eventually marred the celebration.
Damboa is the closest local government area to Sambisa forest where Boko Haram used to have its largest and strongest fortress. The community is one of the most affected by the insurgency in Borno State.