Twenty four people have been confirmed dead and at least 54 injured in a twin bomb attack that occurred in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital early Tuesday, health officials said.
The Executive Secretary of the Borno State Hospital Management Board, Dr. Salisu Kwayabura, told the state governor, Kashim Shettima, that the 54 injured people were admitted at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and the Umaru Shehu Ultra-Modern Hospital, Maiduguri.
“Out of this number, 14 of them who were critically injured have been referred to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) for proper treatment while 20 have been discharged,” Dr. Kwayabura said.
Also briefing the governor, the state’s permanent secretary in the ministry of health, Alhaji Sanda, said 24 bodies were taken to the teaching hospital morgue.
Witnesses and security sources who were at the scene of the minutes after the bombing incident said more people had died and some of the identified corpses were taken away for burial by the relatives even before the rescue workers arrived.
Mr. Shettima described the bombers as “wicked, barbaric and heartless”
“We are all shocked by this heartless and barbaric act of wickedness; what on earth could justify that act of choosing poor traders and children as targets of this heinous attack,” he questioned.
Two suspected female suicide bombers dressed in full hijab detonated bombs hidden under their garments near Maiduguri main market. Many of the dead were traders.
The explosions occurred at about 11:20 a.m. at a crowded Maiduguri commercial area called One-Way.
The bomb attack was the first in the city since July 2.
According to witnesses’ accounts, there was a first explosion that killed three women before the second one exploded and killed many persons who gathered at the scene of the first blast.
Abba Aji an official of the Civilian-JTF, told reporters that at the time he arrived the scene, 11 bodies were still yet to be evacuated, while many other corpses and several injured victims had been conveyed to hospital.
According to the Civilian-JTF official, the bombers were two girls dressed in full hijab.
“One of them detonated herself and about three persons – all women – were killed, and minutes after that when people came round to see what happened, another bomb went off after a girl screamed and many people, over 30 of them got killed.