A bomb explosion that occurred on Tuesday morning, at the busy Monday Market close to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) building in Maiduguri, Borno State capital, has left at least 18 people dead with 55 others severely injured.
According to SaharaReporters, the bomb exploded at about 8.20am within the market premises, which is usually a crowded commercial centre.
A source who was involved in the evacuation of the corpses and rescuing of the injured victims, confirmed that the explosion occurred at about 8.30am when people have started coming to the market.
However, one of the state government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the blast and revealed that the number of casualties were very high. He said that security operatives were on ground, trying to rescue some of the victims as well as to secure the area.
A security source, who spoke to a journalist said: "After we heard the loud bang, we immediately moved into the area and found 10 people dead and the 27 persons who were in pains from injuries we took to both University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) and the State Specialists Hospital."
Meanwhile, Pmnews reports that witnesses and a brief online statement from the defence ministry revealed that the explosion was caused by an explosive concealed in charcoal laden truck. It said the explosion caused a huge fireball at the roundabout area of the state capital.
According to the Twitter account of the defence minister’s office "A van loaded with charcoal and IED exploded at Monday Market in Maiduguri this morning. The location has been cordoned".
However, Habiba Adamu, a BBC reporter in Maiduguri, said a medical worker has reported that in addition to the 18 killed, 55 people were wounded in the blast.
"I heard a very loud explosion right from my house and rushed to the place" a resident, who gave his name as Babagana Hausari said. "When I got there I saw many people lying after they were hit by explosives".
Reuters reports that the blast was carried out by a suspected suicide bomber, adding that cars and taxis which were offloading goods and passengers were also affected .
Alakija Olatunde, a student who told reporters that he rushed to the scene of the blast said: "I saw police and troops picking out victims".
Although the radical Islamist sect, Boko Haram who crave to create an Islamic state, is yet to claim responsibility for this attack, it is however, generally believed that the deadly sect is responsible. The Islamist has claimed over 2,000 innocent lives this year in several deadly attacks. On Monday July 30, the Director of Defence Information Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, announced the arrest of a businessman Babuji Ya’ari, a suspected leader of the group. The Islamist is also believed to concentrate more on the north-eastern part of the country because that is its stronghold.
The sect was responsible for the abduction of over 234 female students from Chibok, as well as the murder of Emir of Gwoza. On Sunday June 29, 2014, the sect in a morning raid killed at least 56 people and burned down several houses during a deadly attack in
In a bid to check their activities, on 14 May 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno State, along with it's neighboring Adamawa and Yobe State.
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