The police and the National Emergency Management Agency, have given official casualty figures from the attack by Boko Haram on Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, Thursday night.
According to official accounts, the insurgents attempted to enter the city but were spotted at the outskirts by soldiers on guard duty who opened fire and killed many of them.
But two of the suicide bombers, both teenage girls, were able to sneak into the city and blow themselves up near a popular bus station called Muna Garage.
Witnesses said two other persons were killed in the Muna Garage blast that occurred at about 11 p.m. The police and NEMA, however, said only the suicide bombers died.
The spokesperson of the police in the state, Victor Isukwu, in a statement said 13 pickup vans loaded with goods ahead of the next day’s journey to the border areas were burnt down at Muna Garage.
NEMA said 14 trucks were involved in the incident.
“Yesterday at about 2318hrs, a suicide bomber sneaked into the midst of 13 pickup trucks loaded with goods along Maiduguri/Mafa road, said to be awaiting departure to Gamboru Ngala early hours of today, and detonated IEDs strapped on self”, the police spokesman said.
“The resulting explosion razed down the parked vehicles beyond recognition. EOD/Police patrol team was promptly deployed to the scene to restore safety & normalcy”.
Witnesses had earlier informed that soldiers repelled another attack, three hours after the Muna park explosions, during which six suspected suicide bombers were reportedly killed.
Mr. Isukwu said soldiers had in the night spotted some persons suspected to be insurgents on motorcycles and opened fire in their direction.
The spokesperson of NEMA, Sani Datti, in a separate statement said seven persons died but all of them were Boko Haram suicide bombers.
“Yesterday (Thursday) at around 11:00pm, Boko Haram members attempted to attack Maiduguri”, he said.
“They came through Mafa- Dikwa road along Muna community. The suicide bombers came in a Volkswagen Golf carrying eight suicide bombers most of whom were female teenagers.
“The driver attempted to overrun the security post where the security personnel were stationed, but few of the personnel sustained minor injuries, while the remaining bombers detonated their IED in some of the communities in Muna Dalti settlement.
“Seven (7) Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) sustained minor injuries and were taken to University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH). Some of the suicide bombers found their way to a place where people gathered with their trucks loaded with goods for onward movement to Mafa, Dikwa and Ngala LGAs.
“Over 14 loaded trucks were burnt by the suicide bombers, though no casualty was recorded. The seven corpses of the suicide bombers were evacuated to the State Specialist Hospital by NEMA and Borno SEMA team”.