Three suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers have killed themselves and 13 other people as they attacked Muna Garage and Dalti community on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, with strapped Improvised Explosive Devices (IFDs).
All the suicide bombers were blown up in the blasts that rocked the city throughout Sunday night. Eighteen people were also injured. The Police Commissioner, Damian Chukwu, who confirmed the death toll yesterday, said that the suicide bombers burst into the Muna Garage through the Maiduguri-Dikwa road that was declared open by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai in 2016.
He said the bodies of the deceased had been evacuated by the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) rescue team, while the injured ones had been taken to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) for treatment.
Chukwu said that in the Muna Dalti community, two female suicide bombers detonated their explosives and blew themselves up. The blasts also injured 13 people. The male suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a crowded area, killing himself and 13 others. Five people were wounded.
“The Police Explosives Ordinance Department (EOD) and other teams have this morning been deployed to sanitise the blasts scenes and environs. The areas have since been active with the restoration of normalcy at Muna Garage and the road,” he said.
The Chairman of Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Ahmad Satomi, said the agency carried out rescue at the scenes of the blasts. He said the state government would provide free medical treatment to the victims.
Satomi urged the people to be vigilant and provide useful information on suspicious movements of individuals and groups of people to the military and security agencies.
“We have recorded about 13 suicide bomb attacks this year at the Muna area. This area is also vulnerable and I advise residents to be more vigilant,” Satomi said.
Meanwhile, the United Nations has said at least three local government areas in the north-east region are still under the Boko Haram terrorists’ siege.
The revelation came weeks after a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Buba Galadima claimed in an interview with The Guardian that seven local government areas were still under the control of Boko Haram terrorists in the state.But the military command in the north-east denied the report, saying that no part of Borno State was under the control of the Boko Haram terrorists.
When The Guardian contacted the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman on phone in Abuja he said “the theatre command will reply soon, just be patient.”
The UN, in its latest monthly report for September 2017, which was released by the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said despite efforts by the military, some locations in Borno State, including three local government areas, remained inaccessible to aid workers as a result of the threat posed by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The report titled “North-East Nigeria: Humanitarian Situation Update,” said the Boko Haram hostilities that slowed down due to the rainy season might increase in the coming months.
“Insecurity, presence of mines, improvised explosive devices, and unexploded ordinances have continued to slow down the response of humanitarian agencies in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
“Most roads to the south, south-west and east remain unusable due to security concerns and most humanitarian personnel movement is done through air assets. Cargo, however, is being transported via road with armed escorts as a last resort.”
According to the global agency, “No humanitarian aid is currently reaching locations in these LGAs outside of the LGAs’ main towns called ‘headquarters’. Major humanitarian supply routes towards the west, north-west and north are open for humanitarians without the use of armed escorts. Following advocacy efforts, Konduga and Mafa are now also accessible to aid groups without military escorts.”
The UN agency said it was battling with paucity of funds due to the failure of donors worldwide to fully meet their financial commitment towards the rebuilding of the north-east.