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Nigeria: Death toll from blasts in Maiduguri hits 54

22nd Sep 2015
Nigeria: Death toll from blasts in Maiduguri hits 54

By Olarewaju Kola

MAIDUGURI, (AA): The death toll from Sunday’s multiple blasts in the city of Maiduguri in Nigeria’s volatile northeast has risen to 54, according to police and hospital sources.

Assistant superintendent of police for the area, Victor Isuku, told Anadolu Agency by phone that “54 dead bodies had so far been recovered from the scene of the blasts.”

Isuku also said that a total of 90 people had been injured in the nighttime bombings at a mosque in the Ajilari Kross district, a crowed area of Maiduguri, the provincial capital of Borno State.

“A suspected Boko Haram bomber detonated explosive devices at a mosque in Ajilari while other bombers threw improvised explosive devices into a rest area,” Isuku said.

According to the spokesman, 51 dead bodies were taken to the state-owned Borno Specialists Hospital, one to the Umaru Shehu General Hospital and another two to the University Teaching Hospital in the capital.

Hospital sources told Anadolu Agency that the families of the deceased had been coming to collect the dead bodies.

Provincial Governor Kashim Shettima, for his part, met with the heads of security agencies at his office on Monday morning to discuss the attack.

On Sunday, multiple blasts rocked a mosque in Nigeria’s northeastern town of Maiduguri, according to witnesses and army spokesmen.

Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman, a military spokesman, said a suicide bomber on Sunday evening had blown himself up at the mosque.

Shortly afterward, he added, the same area was shaken by two additional blasts.

According to witnesses, the blasts occurred as worshippers performed evening prayers.

Maiduguri had experienced relative peace since late July, when a similar bomb attack killed five people.

During a state visit to Paris last week, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said his government had opened talks with “moderate elements” of Boko Haram with a view to ending the group’s six-year-long insurgency in the country’s volatile northeast.

[Photo: A member of the Nigerian Army stands guard at a check point. Photographer: Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency]

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