Borno Market Bombing: Residents Recall Ordeal

Nigerian villagers on Wednesday described the carnage unleashed by a huge market bomb explosion in jihadist group Boko Haram’s northeastern heartland as the death toll rose to 50.

The bomb — concealed in a crop-spraying backpack — ripped through the weekly market in the village of Sabon Gari, around 135 kilometres (85 miles) south of Borno state capital Maiduguri, during peak trading on Tuesday.

“When the blast happened people in the market fled in fear. They abandoned their wares. Some managed to return for their wares but some never came back,” Samaila Biu, a local trader, told AFP.

“The market was littered with all sorts of articles. The mobile phone section was a mess with many dead and pieces of flesh and blood splattered all over.”

The explosion went off at about 1:15 pm, (1215 GMT) Biu said, just after the market had entered its most busy trading hours and the immediate vicinity of the bomb was packed with merchants and shoppers, witnesses said.

Authorities said in the immediate aftermath 47 people had been killed but upped the toll by three overnight.

“One more person died from his wounds and two more bodies were later brought to the morgue from near the scene of the blast. Now there are 50 dead and 51 injured,” a nurse at Biu General Hospital, around 50 kilometres away, told AFP.

Credit: AFP

Agencies Evacuate Bodies From Bombed Borno Market

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and International Community of Red Cross (ICC) in Borno State have reported evacuating some 17 corpses from a meat market in Maiduguri following the explosion that hit the site on Tuesday.

According to spokesman of the NEMA in the Northeast zone, Abdul Kadir Ibrahim, “Our men have evacuated not less than 17 the dead corpses in the explosion.”

Ibrahim was not able to give accurate figure of those that injured in the explosion as officials from the agency with other humanitarian agencies were still involved in taking the injured to Umaru Shehu General Hospital in Maiduguri.

The spokesman of the ICRC in the Borno State, Mallam Umar Sadiq, however confirmed that 24 people injured in the explosion were rushed to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospitals and State Specialists Hospital.

Kasuwan Shanu is the major market for the sales of livestock in Maiduguri, also accommodating an abattoir. Many residents of the largely-impoverished town patronise the market.

About 50 people were reported killed in the attack that bore the hallmarks of Islamist Boko Haram militants.

Credit: CAJ News