No fewer than 32 persons were killed, while 84 others were injured when six suicide bombers detonated Improvised Explosive Devices(IEDs), in Damboa local government area in Borno state on Saturday.
NAN reports that some locals alleged that the deaths arose from a misfiring by the Nigerian Army’s artillery but the army denied the claim.
Buba Shettima, a witness said that two separate bomb blasts occurred in Shuwari and Abbachari, at about 8:30 p.m.
“The whole of Damboa was shaken by the unfortunate incident. We all scampered for safety as the blasts were coming from different directions. There were bodies everywhere.
“We suspected that the many deaths recorded were a result of the military artillery,”he said.
Mohammed Hassan, another local from the area who corroborated the claim, said: “At about 8:30 pm of on Saturday night, an attack suspected to be from an artillery killed 31 innocent people in Damboa Shehuri and Abachari. The attacks came from two separate directions. My house was among some of the houses destroyed,” he said.
However Rogers Nicholas, commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, denied the claim, saying the killings were caused by suicide attacks and not military artillery.
“There was nothing like an attack from the military artillery. You can see the pictures of six female bombers who detonated their explosives and as a result, 20 persons were killed while others were injured,” he said.
Rogers urged people to disregard the claim that people were killed by the military and not by suicide bombers.
Modu-Zannah Maina, the District Head of Damboa, who described the incident as “shocking and disturbing”, said the attack was perpetrated by female suicide bombers.
Maina lamented that a lot of those that were affected were mostly children adding that many victims were injured.
“We are here in this hospital to check our people affected by Saturday’s bomb blasts. So far, the victims have been responding to treatment,”he said.