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11 Killed, 28 Injured as Bomb Blast Rocks Hotel in Bauchi

Eleven persons lost their lives while 28 others sustained various degrees of injury on Friday when a bomb exploded at Peoples Hotel in the Bayan Gari area of Bauchi metropolis.

Briefing newsmen in his office, the state’s Commissioner of Police, Lawal Shehu, said: “At about 9.30pm, on Friday, there was an explosion at Bayan Gari. Eleven people were confirmed dead while 28 others sustained injuries. The victims were rushed to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH) for treatment while the corpses were evacuated to the mortuary.”

He said the area has been cordoned off and the scene secured by the police bomb disposal unit.

The commissioner also disclosed that one person has been arrested in connection with the incident, while effort is underway to arrest other suspects.

He urged members of the public to be security conscious and pay attention to strange persons and objects particularly at motor parks, markets places, schools, places of worship, and shopping malls.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports eyewitness accounts. According to Ahmed Maidoki: “We were seated, watching highlights of the ongoing FIFA World Cup at the viewing centre located between the two story buildings of the hotel when five men dressed in military uniform strolled in.

“We thought they were security personnel, who came to relax as well. I noticed that they positioned themselves at four corners of the hall. The next thing I heard was an explosion, after which the arena was covered with thick smoke. My friends and I threw ourselves to the ground.

“We were trying to get out when the five men began to shoot at any one who tried to stand up, and in the process, killing many of the survivors of the blast.”

Another eyewitness, Usman Hassan, said: “As soon as I was a bit far from the scene, I heard gunshots. Few minutes later, a white Toyota Hilux vehicle zoomed out of the hotel at high speed with men wearing army uniforms.”

Gunmen in Maihula village of Bali Local Government Council, Taraba State, killed 10 persons yesterday.

The incident has forced people of the village to seek safety at the council’s administrative headquarters.

An eyewitness said about 30 men stormed the village, shooting sporadically.

The state in the last four months has witnessed similar attacks, which claimed lives and destroyed properties. The situation has caused people to relocate from the state.

Yesterday’s attack came hours after the celebration of a peace concert, organized by the state chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYC).

Although the state government claims it has brokered peace between various warring parties and has provided security operatives with over 70 patrol vehicles, the death toll continues to rise.

Confirming the attack, the council chairman, Andy Yerima, denied that the attack was carried out by unknown gunmen, saying: “armed robbers attacked and killed the people.”

He said the armed bandits attacked the people, whom according to him “were coming from the Garba-Chede market”, and dispossessed them of their valuables before killing them. He said the attack took place between Maihula and Dadinkowa village.

The Police Public Relation Officer Joseph Kwaji, said: “There was an attacked by unknown gunmen in Maihula village. Three spent AK47 shells were found at the scene by our patrol team drafted immediately to the scene.”

Anti-riot policemen, according to Kwaji, have been moved to the area to restore normalcy.

He called on members of the public to assist the police with relevant information that could lead to the arrest of the attackers.


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