At least 30 people were killed while 42 others sustained various degrees of injury when three suicide bombers detonated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Borno State.
The incident occurred near a viewing centre in Mandarari ward of Konduga town, the headquarters of Koduga Local Government Area.
Konduga is about 25 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital.
This was as Governor Babagana Umara yesterday promised that government would foot the bill of those injured and being treated in hospitals.
Confirming the attack, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) yesterday said 30 people lost their lives while 42 others were injured.
The SEMA Director, Search, Rescue and Operations, Alhaji Usman Kachalla, who disclosed this to journalists when he visited the scene of the attack, said the incident occurred about 8p.m. on Sunday.
According to him, the three suicide bombers – two females and a male – detonated the IEDs in a local tea joint and film centre in the community.
He said that about 17 persons died instantly while death toll rose to 30 yesterday as a result of lack of immediate medical attention and availability of drugs.
Kachalla regretted that his staff could not reach the spot of the incident on Sunday evening when the incident occurred as a result of the closure of the road by the military and that the hospital in Konduga did not have enough facilities to handle the situation.
He said: “When my team and I arrived Konduga early this morning (yesterday), the military prevented us from gaining access to the community to assist the victims. They told us they were given orders from above not to open the road until 9a.m.”
Our correspondent, who visited the scene of the attack, reports that dozens of the wounded victims were being conveyed in pick-up vans by relations to hospitals in Maiduguri, a distance of about 80 kilometres from their town.
A resident of the area, Abdullahi Garba, said “the suicide bombers initially wanted to attack a viewing centre but were sent way. They ended up attacking a tea vendor’s place and night market. It is unfortunate we lost 30 people, while over 40 others were injured in the attack. My junior brother was also killed in the attack.
“Initially 15 people were killed instantly but due to lack of medical equipment and facilities the dead toll rose to 30.”
Meanwhile, Governor Umara has visited the victims of the suicide bomb blast.
Briefing the governor, Kachalla said 30 people were killed, while those injured were rushed to the State Specialist Hospital.
According to him, 17 out of the injured were discharged, while three others were referred to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.
He said: “The incident occurred about 8p.m. on Sunday. We tried to give immediate attention but we were prevented by the military until early this morning (yesterday). Most of those who died were as a result of lack of prompt inventions and the hospital in Konduga lacks facilities and drugs.”
While commending ICRC for putting up the centre for the treatment of victims of the blast, the Governor, Umara, directed the permanent secretary, Ministry of Health, to furnish him with the requirement for expanding the centre to avoid congestion in the facility.
Sympathising with the victims, Umara said his administration would pay all their medical bills.
The governor also prayed God to forgive the sins of those who lost their lives and quick recovery for those injured.
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