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Scores Killed, Others Injured as Bombers Hit Kano Motor Park

News » Editorials

Date: 19th, MARCH, 2013

Image: Victims

Suspected terrorists again on Monday hit the Kano Central Park where they blew up a Lagos-bound 59-seater bus, killing unspecified number of passengers and park workers, including traders.
The suicide attack occurred at about 4.30 p.m. as the bus was about departing the park.
Sources said the suspected suicide bombers, about three in number, had positioned their Golf car, primed with explosives between the Gobison luxury bus and one other bus, and detonated the explosives immediately the driver of the bus started the ignition.
Apart from the 59 passengers onboard the ill-fated bus, it was gathered that there were no fewer than 40 extra passengers when it was blown up.
At press time, the scene of the tragedy was still cordoned off by men of the military Joint Task Force (JTF) to pave way for evacuation of both the dead and injured victims.
The dead were taken to the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital mortuary.
Some of the injured victims had shattered limbs, resulting from the severe impact of the explosions. About six explosions were heard in the busy park that accommodates mostly South East and South West bound passengers.
At the last count, apart from the wrecked Gobison bus, 10 other buses were torched.
There was stampede in Sabo Gari area of the state, where the park is located, inhabited predominantly by non-Muslims and non-natives, as residents scampered for safety following the multiple explosions. The Kano business area abruptly closed for business, as the Kano Central Market and other places of business were shut down in reaction to the development.
Neither the police nor the JTF were forthcoming, as they parried questions over the development.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Magaji Majiya, when contacted on phone said he was in the classroom and referred our reporter to JTF’s Ikedichi Iweha.
But Iweha said that it would be hasty to release casualty figures, adding that “our interest now is to ensure that the injured were taken to the hospital for treatment, while efforts are being made by firefighters to extinguish the raging flames in the park.
“We are also making efforts to prevent thieves from taking advantage of the situation to steal properties.”
Chairman of the Kano chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Tobias Idika, said from records available to him, 60 persons died in the encounter, while five luxury buses were burnt.
“This is the worst experience of the lives of the Igbo in Kano; we have lost over 60 souls, while five buses were burnt to ashes, which shows that we have always been the target of the attack, moving without protection,” Idika added.
Also on Monday, suspected Boko Haram terrorists laid siege to some schools in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, killing three teachers and injuring several others, including pupils.
Virtually all the schools in the city were hastily shut as fear of attacks gripped teachers and students, with many parents rushing to take their wards home.
The attacks by the unknown gunmen, according to eyewitnesses, started around 9.00 a.m., just as schools were settling down for the day’s work.
Some residents of the town, who spoke to journalists, said about six gun totting men believed to be members of the Boko Haram attacked Shehu Sanda Kyarimi Secondary School in Ruwan Zafi area of the town, shooting indiscriminately and in the process killing a teacher whose identity was yet unknown.
Three female students were also injured by the gunmen, according to the eyewitnesses.
In what appeared to have been a coordinated attack, the gunmen also descended on Ali Askira Primary School in Mafoni area where they reportedly killed a teacher named Mallam Abdullahi.
From there, the terrorists went to Mafoni Day Secondary School where they also shot dead a female teacher whose name was given as as Hajja Yagumsu.
The attacks on all the school lasted about two hours, eyewitnesses told journalists.
Spokesman of the Joint Task Force, Sagir Musa, a Lieutenant Colonel, confirmed the attacks.
He said in a statement that a teacher at Sanda Karami Secondary School, Ruwan Zafi, Customs General Area in Maiduguri metropolis named Malam Kachalla, was shot dead between 8.00 and 9.00 a.m. inside the school premises.
“Three female students were also critically injured from bullet wounds and were rushed to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital by the JTF patrol attracted to the scene by hasty movement of people from Customs Market area,” according to the statement.
Musa also said another attack on a secondary school in Mafoni and Galadima areas of Maiduguri by Boko Haram “was averted by the intervention of JTF troops, leading to the death of three terrorists and recovery of 2 AK 47 rifles, 200 rounds of ammunition, two video recorders, one laptop and two tricycles.
“Efforts are on to apprehend the other culprits and they will be made to face the law.”
In a similar development, four persons were on Sunday night killed at Tapo village in the Heipang District of Barkin Ladi Local Government area of Plateau State during an attack by yet to be identified gunmen.
Daily Independent gathered in Jos on Monday that three members of a family were shot by the attackers while the 80-year-old village head, Da Dung Bot Gwom, reportedly died from exhaustion while trying to escape from the gunmen.
The gunmen, according to eyewitnesses, stormed the village at about 11.00 p.m. on Sunday, breaking into the residence of one Rwang Davou (71) and killed him, his 47-year-old son, Pam Rwang Davou, and his six-year-old grandson, Martins Pam Rwang.
Late Pam’s wife escaped with injuries and is currently receiving treatment in a hospital, according to eyewitnesses.
The three family members were buried on Monday while the body of the village head has been deposited in the mortuary for proper burial arrangements because of his status.
The burial of the victims was witnessed by Chairman of the Management Committee of Barkin Ladi Local Government Council, Emmanuel Loman, and member representing the area in the state House of Assembly, Kaneng Gyang Fulani.
They commiserated with the people and urged them to be calm while the incident is being investigated.
Media Officer of the Special Task Force in the state, Salisu Mustapha, a Captain, said he was yet to be briefed on the incident when contacted.
And before the dust raised by the killing in Baraki Ladi settled, another incident was reported on Monday from the neighboring Torok-Rim village of Riyom Local Government area in which two children of ages two and four were brutally murdered by another set of unknown gunmen.
Eyewitnesses told Daily Independent that at about 5.30 a.m. on Monday, the gunmen attacked the community, leaving the two children dead, while four others who sustained injuries were rushed to the Vom Christian Hospital to remove bullets from their bodies.
Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Samuel Dido, who confirmed the death of the two children, said four others were still unconscious.
Majority Leader of the state House of Assembly, Daniel Dem, who is representing Riyom, visited the scene and called on the STF Commander Henry Ayoola, to redeploy the Sector 9 Commander, Colonel Jimoh, to ensure peace in the council area.
Dem said “it is unfortunate that Col. Jimoh would say women in the community attacked the military which is not true. They killed two children and four people are in critical condition in the hospital; we don’t know how they will end up, Col. Jimoh could not even say something over what is happening in the local government area.”
The lawmaker added that the STF commander “should not allow himself to be fed with false information by Colonel Jimoh and his cohorts.”
“I want to emphasise that if we mean business about peace in Riyom, Col. Jimoh should be replaced with somebody serious,” he stated.
The two children have been buried while sympathisers have continued to troop to the community to commiserate with the bereaved family.
Plateau State Police Commissioner, Chris Olakpe, confirmed the incident to newsmen late on Monday in Jos, saying his command in collaboration with the STF were putting heads together to carry out an investigation over the incident.

Article Credit: Daily Independent News

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