Terror sect, BokoHaram, yesterday let loose its suicide bombers on worshippers in Maiduguri and Yola, leaving at least 55 people dead in both attacks.
Twenty-eight worshippers were feared killed during the Fajr (early morning prayer) in a mosque at Jiddari Polo area of the Borno State capital. Time was 5 am.
Umar Sani, a civilian vigilante assisting the military in the counter-insurgency, and local resident Musa Sheriff both told AFP there were two blasts at the mosque.
“I was involved in the evacuation. We counted 28 dead bodies apart from the two bombers, who were identifiable by the mutilation of their bodies,” said Sani.
“Over 20 other people were injured.”
Abdulkadir Ibrahim, spokesman for the National Relief Agency, put the death toll at six.He said 17 others were injured.
Hospital sources put the death toll at 19.
A member of the local vigilance group who took part in the evacuation of the dead said there appeared to be only one suicide bomber though “we all heard two explosions.”
Sani and Sheriff said two other people were arrested and handed over to the military for questioning after they were seen apparently celebrating following the blasts.
The two men were “standing from afar, hugging each other like a celebration, chanting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest)”, said Sani.
“To them it was a mission accomplished,” added Sheriff.
Nine hours later , another suicide bomber detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED at the Jambutu Hajj camp mosque in Yola soon after the Imam finished his sermon.
State Police Commissioner Gabriel Adaji said eight worshippers were killed.
Other sources put the death toll at 27.
One volunteer at the scene, who helped in the rescue effort but asked not to be identified, said: “This mosque is newly built and this was the first Jumat in it.
“While worshippers had risen for the prayers to start after the sermon by the imam, there was a huge blast in the premises.”
NEMA’s coordinator in the Adamawa state capital, Sa’ad Bello said 116 people were being treated for injuries at two hospitals in the city.
Most of the injured were in a stable condition, with injuries ranging from fractures and burns to cuts from the blast, he added.
Yola has been seen as a relatively safe haven from the Boko Haram insurgency, which has ravaged the northeast for the last six years.
But fears were heightened after an explosive device went off at a camp for displaced people to the south of the city last month, killing seven people and injuring 20 more.
Boko Haram’s suicide bombers also attacked worshippers at mosques in Maiduguri last week.
Overall,Maiduguri has been hit six times this month alone by Boko Haram insurgents.
Its fighters also attacked targets in Abuja and Kogi State recently.
This week, the police warned that the group was now building bombs within electronic devices like tablets, phones, and laptops, then leaving them for unsuspecting Nigerians to pick up.
The police issued the warning after the arraignment on Thursday of five suspects connected with a double bombing in Nigeria’s capital that killed 18 people on Oct. 2.
The defendants were charged with conspiracy and acts of terrorism at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The case was adjourned until a further hearing on November 17.