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Soldier, many others killed in Borno as nursing mother, 3 others detonate bombs

Gwoza is located 128 kilometres, in the southern part of Maiduguri, the state capital.


Soldier, many others killed in Borno as nursing mother, 3 others detonate bombs

Many people including a soldier and some wedding guests have been killed, and several others injured on Saturday, when four suicide bombers launched attacks at different spots in Gwoza and Pulka towns, all in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State.

Gwoza is located 128 kilometres, in the southern part of Maiduguri, the state capital.

The suicide attacks were launched on the same day when a man committed suicide in Anambra State, while a woman climbed the rail of a bridge, jumped and killed herself in Delta State.

In Gwoza, it was learnt that the first suicide incident was at a wedding reception in the Mararaba area of the town.

Confirming the incident, the Director General of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Dr. Barkindo M. Saidu, said 18 persons died, and 19 others were seriously injured in the incidents.

“So far, we have 18 deaths, comprising children, adult male, females, and pregnant women, while the 19 persons that are seriously injured were conveyed to Maiduguri in four ambulances,” he said.

“Also, 23 are waiting for military escort in the Medical Regimental Services (MRS) Clinic. I am now coordinating for chopper this night. I have mobilised emergency drugs to complement the shortage of drugs in Gwoza,” he said.

The DG, who said he was on the spot in Gwoza, said the degree of injuries ranges from abdominal raptures, skull and limb fractures.

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He said that the first suicide bomber detonated her explosive around 3:00pm, which affected over 30 wedding celebrants.

“Some minutes later, another blast occurred around General Hospital at the funeral services when another lady rushed onto the congregation and detonated another bomb with a lot of casualties.

“We were in the hospital coordinating the rescue mission, and another one exploded from a female teenager,” he said.

He also confirmed receiving a report that there was a suspected suicide bombing in Pulka town, also in Gwoza LGA, but did not give further details.

Our correspondent reliably gathered that the casualty figure might be higher, as families and acquaintances were still looking for their loved ones in the aftermath of the attacks.

A resident said: “It was a black day in Gwoza…The first woman came to a wedding reception while pretending to be looking for food. She ensured that she was in midst of the wedding reception before she detonated the explosive devices wrapped around her wrist.”

While some sources said the woman had a baby tied to her back, others said it was the bomb she concealed that was mistaken as a child.

According to the groom’s friend, eight people died instantly and many others were rushed to the hospital alongside a soldier and two civilians.

“The second incident was while people in the grieving community were trying to bury the dead,” another source said.

“The suicide bomber, who disguised as a mourner, detonated the improvised explosive device, which killed some people.

“According to the update received, over 10 persons were killed with several others injured”, the source said.

The source added that the third suicide attack happened in the Hausari area of Gwoza, claiming the lives of an unspecified number of people.

A security source confirmed the incident, saying up to 20 people lost their lives and dozens of others wounded.

Gwoza, located in the fringes of the Sambisa Forest and the Mandara Mountains, which serve as sanctuaries for Boko Haram fighters, had suffered devastating attacks in the nearly fifteen years of the insurgency.

Hundreds of people have been killed, many injured and houses, markets, hospitals, police stations and other symbols of authority destroyed.

In August 2014, Abubakar Shekau declared a caliphate in areas under Boko Haram’s control, with the town of Gwoza as its seat of power.

He dislodged all the residents, including the emir, and held sway for years before he was forced to retreat to the Sambisa Forest, where he was killed on May 19, 2021, by a faction led by Abu Musab al-Barwawi, the son of the Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf.

Soon after the recovery of Gwoza and other major towns, thousands of residents, who hitherto took refuge in Maiduguri, have been taken back to their ancestral towns after reconstruction by the Governor Babagana Zulum –led administration.

Incidents of suicide bombings have not been reported for a long time, until yesterday’s resurgence in Borno.

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