Nigeria: 58 killed, 139 injured in Nigerian city multiple blasts

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - At least 58 people lay dead Saturday in Maiduguri, north east Borno State, after five coordinated bomb blasts in separate parts of the Sate, according to local media reports, which said that the attacks bore the hallmarks of the terror sect, Boko Haram.

The blasts immediately sparked confusion and a traffic gridlock in the city.

The first attack was carried out by a female suicide bomber at the Baga fish market at about 11:20 am, said Abubakar Gamandi, the head of the fisherman’s union in the metropolis.

“A female suicide bomber exploded as soon as she stepped out of a tricycle taxi,” said Gamandi, who was at the scene, indicating that 18 people were killed in that incident alone.

That account was supported by a nurse at the Maiduguri General Hospital, where many of the victims were taken.

The other attacks were at the Maiduguri Monday Market (MMM), and the Borno Express Terminus motor park.

The multiple blasts, according to the military and a member of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), were simultaneously coordinated by insurgents to “target and hit” three populous markets and motor park centres in Maiduguri metropolis.

This came as the Nigerian military, through a signed statement, announced the recovery of two more local governments from the insurgents.

The recaptured two Local Government Areas in Borno State, in continuation of the onslaught against Boko Haram insurgents are Mafa and Marte, which were liberated on Wednesday and Friday respectively, after months of occupation by the insurgents.

A statement from the Directorate of Army Public Relations, said the gallant Nigerian troops recovered a large quantity of high caliber arms and ammunition, including anti-aircraft guns from the insurgents, after the operations.

The statement signed by the acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, said: “It is significant to note that our troops did not suffer any casualty during these operations”.

According to him, the Nigerian troops are now conducting search and mop up operations in the recovered territories, just as they are making efforts to recover more grounds from the fleeing terrorists.

With the capture of Mafa, Marte, and the Chadian troops holding fort in Dikwa, he said, the international routes from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Central African Republic are now fully secured.

“With this positive development, the security of the area has significantly improved. It is hoped that international trade and socio-economic activities would be restored along this corridor,” he said.

The four-nation offensive against Boko Haram has claimed major successes over the insurgents since the start of last month, and analysts have said that Boko Haram would likely step up bombings on civilian targets in response.

The sect has increased suicide bombings and village attacks recently as forces from Nigeria and Chad have driven the insurgents from a score of towns along Nigeria’s border with Cameroon.

According to media reports, Boko Haram fighters are massing at their headquarters in the northeastern town of Gwoza, in an apparent preparation for a showdown with multinational forces.
-0- PANA VAO 8March2015

08 march 2015 10:30:51

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