A bloody Eid al-Fitr for Nigeria
As the rest of the world celebrates Eid al-Fitr, Nigeria has been hit by multiple bomb explosions which occurred in Damaturu, Yobe state capital, in the early hours of Friday morning. Col Sani Kukasheka Usman, the acting director of army public relations, said the explosions which went off at about 07:40 am local time, were set off by two female suicide bombers.
Residents say the explosions were set off in screening areas for Muslim worshippers, one at the Eid prayer ground at Layin Gwange, and another close by former state secretariat, Damaturu. So far, about 50 persons have been confirmed dead, and quite a number injured.
Security agents and medical workers were on site almost immediately, conveying the wounded to health facilities. And residents who were already out of their homes for the Eid prayers were asked to return home. Colonel Usman assured Nigerians that the Nigerian army have the situation under control, and that the attack does not in anyway weaken the resolve of the Nigerian army to rid the nation off terrorism and insurgency.
Governor Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe, and Major General Tukur Buratai, the chief of army staff, sympathized with, and encouraged residents to be security conscious. This is the second time the city suffers an attack this year; earlier in May, quite a number of persons were killed and injured in an explosion that occurred around the city’s motor park.
It has been a sad week for Nigerians, especially for those in the north-east. On Thursday, July 16th, just two days after the appointment of new military chiefs by the president, there were two explosions in a market in Gombe. The explosions left over 45 people dead, and many injured, most of whom were shoppers for the Eid celebration. Also, earlier this week, a highway that links Damaturu to another town was raided by gunmen who killed over 20 motorists.
Though it has not been confirmed what group is responsible for the recent attacks, Nigerians point fingers to the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Since the group has been responsible for similar attacks in northern Nigeria.