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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

10 killed, many injured as Boko Haram throws bombs


It was a day of rage in Maiduguri as bomb blasts believed to have been planted by the Boko Haram men at a Catholic Cathedral killed five while another five including three of the members of the sect, were also killed in a bloody shoot out yesterday afternoon.



NigeriaNewspapers gathered that the Boko Haram men had stormed the St Patrick Catholic Church located at the heart of the city in a Honda car at about 2.30 pm apparently to blow off the church. However, luck ran against them as the bomb exploded killing about three of them. The church was first hit by bomb blast last week Thursday.

According to an eyewitness who almost ran into the blast, the men threw the explosive into the church before another one exploded in their car. “They threw the bomb into the church premises and the thing went off while another one exploded in the car immediately,” the source disclosed.

No fewer than five persons including passers-by died during the explosion at the Catholic Church, an incident which occurred barely 30 minutes after the state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima concluded inspection of the Musa Usman State Secretariat located opposite the church.

Barely 10 minutes later, the assailants launched an offensive against the Gwange and Dandal Divisional Police Stations, where they detonated more bombs. Police sources said the men had exhibited some measure of courage at the Gwange Police Station as they stationed themselves opposite the station, having thrown the bomb. “They started shooting into the police station perhaps to destabilise us but we organized ourselves in a way and engaged them in a shoot out, killing three of them,” the police source said.
Daily Sun also gathered that two people were hit by stray bullet during the encounter between the police and the Boko Haram men while many suffered injuries. But there was no casualty at the Dandal Police Station.

Also, the North - east zonal office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it had evacuated the corpses at the scenes of the blast and deposited them at the UMTH morgue. The agency, however, did not give the statistics of casualties, maintaining that “it was not necessary for now.”
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abdullahi Lawal, an assistant superintendent of police (ASP) claimed there were only two bomb blasts, adding that only five people died in the incident.

“In all, there were a total of five deaths including three Boko Haram men shot by our gallant officers and men at Gwange Police Station, while two persons also died at the St Patrick blast,” the police spokesman disclosed. He said there was no casualty from the police, even as he disclosed that the police recovered a vehicle used by the gunmen at Gwange Police Station, an AK 47 rifle and three handsets. He assured that the police were more alert than before and determined to protect the lives and property of the people.

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