Bomb blasts rock FCT, Kaduna, Borno

THE PUNCH Newspaper

Three more post-inauguration bomb blasts rocked Zuba near the Federal Capital Territory, Zaria and Maiduguri, leaving two people dead and 16 others, including children, seriously injured.

The explosion in Zuba, a border community between the FCT and Niger State occurred at a beer parlour late Sunday night.

Two people died while 11 others were injured in the Zuba bombing were hospitalised at some undisclosed medical centre in the community and the Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital.

The Maiduguri bombing, which took place on Monday morning, was targetted at a military patrol vehicle. No casualty was, however, recorded.

“There was a bomb blast this morning around 7.30 targeting one of our patrol teams in the city,” a man believed to be a police personnel, Abubakar Abdullahi, told the Agence France Presse.

“One of our vans was substantially damaged, but none of our men were injured,” he said, adding that three arrests were made in connection with the attack.

The explosion which created apprehension among the residents of the city was blamed on the Boko Haram sect.

The News Agency of Nigeria quoted a security guard attached to a commercial bank, Mr. Simon Owoh, as saying “We were on duty at the bank when we heard a big sound close by, but we later discovered that it was a bomb planted at a roadside by unknown persons.”

Owoh added that the bomb was planted in anticipation of people passing early morning on the road.

He thanked “God that nobody was around when the explosion took place.”

The Police Public Relations Officer of the Borno State Police Command, Malam Lawal Abdullahi, confirmed the incident but declined to give details.

Abdullahi had earlier in a statement on Monday disclosed that the police had received information about another plot by Boko Haram to bomb more places in Maiduguri.

He said, “We wish to inform the public that we have received an intelligence report on possible attacks.

“Some fundamentalists have decided to launch an attack on the good people of Borno State.

“The group and other social miscreants have decided to team up with some politicians to terrorise the good people of the state, using the leadership of a dangerous sect from neighbouring Yobe State.’’

The police spokesman added that the command had already mapped out strategies to counter the attacks.

“The command has set modalities and mechanisms in motion to track down these miscreants for immediate arrest and prosecution.’’

Urging traditional and religious leaders to help fish out the culprits, he said, “The police want to implore religious, traditional and community leaders to please assist security agents in the state to bring back the peace which the state was known for.’’

In the Zaria, Kaduna bombings, two children were also injured while on their way to fetch water in a nearby stream on Monday morning.

A source said the children were “rushed to nearby hospitals where they are currently receiving treatment.”

An earlier explosion had occurred at the White House Hotel located in Sabon Gari late Sunday night. Two men were seriously injured.

The Sunday night and early morning explosions in Zaria led to the immediate tightening of security in the city and other parts of the state.

There had been rumours days before the inauguration of the newly elected state governors that members of the Boko Haram had planned to disrupt the celebrations in Kaduna and some other Northern states.

Confirming the incidents, the Kaduna State Police Public Relations Officer, Aminu Lawan, said that the injured persons were responding to treatment.

Lawan, a deputy superintendent of police, claimed that “yet-to-be ascertained explosives” and not bombs were used by the perpetrators.

The police spokesman, who declined to confirm arrests, added that the police had already launched investigations into the two incidents.

The three fresh blasts came a few hours after the bombings that ripped through a beer parlour at a military barracks in Bauchi late on Sunday. At least 14 people are believed to have killed in the incident.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.- Gen. Onyeabor Ihejirika, has said that security agencies have launched an investigation into the series of bombings.

“We have commenced a preliminary investigation to ascertain the kind of explosives used and who was behind them,” a senior security source told the news agency, he said after an assessment tour of the scene of the scene of the Bauchi incident on Sunday.

He explained that the investigation was a joint investigation by the army, police and secret service, adding that the Federal Government was devising new strategies to deal with acts of terrorism in the country

The Army chief described the Bauchi bombing as a pure act of terrorism and stated that with “with this, the Army has been exposed security wise” to make it “go back and ensure that we beefed up our internal security arrangements.”

The Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, who visited the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital to commiserate with the injured, directed the hospital management to ensure that they (victims) were given the best medical attention.

He also ordered that they should be treated free, on the bill of the government.

The governor announced the closure of the market until further notice.


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