The death toll in yesterday’s bombing at the red light district of Bayan Garin, Bauchi has risen to 13, just as eyewitnesses recounted their experiences, with some saying the attackers wore army uniforms.
Speaking on the bombing, yesterday, Bauchi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sani Malami, said 34 injured victims were taken to hospital in the late hours of Friday out of which 17 with minor injuries were treated and discharged.
“There are 17 others with varying degree of injuries who are still on admission, but we are hoping that many of them would be discharged today (yesterday), while a few victims will have to go to the theatre because of the seriousness of their injuries,” Malami told journalists. .
“Unfortunately, 13 people were, so far, confirmed dead. 10 bodies were brought to hospital yesterday (Friday) night and three more victims died in the hospital.
He explained that some victims rushed to clinics in Bauchi were transferred to the ATBUTH for proper attention.
According to him, Bauchi is a peaceful state but quite unfortunate that the bombing happened.
“We are really shattered and heartbroken that this incident happened in Bauchi and pray that it will not happen again,” the commissioner said.
A survivor, Ahmed Maidoki, told the News Agency of Nigeria that five persons in military uniform carried out the attack by detonating explosives and shooting at random.
“We were just sitting down, watching highlights of the ongoing FIFA world cup at the viewing centre located in between the two storey building of the hotel when five men dressed in military uniform strolled in,” he narrated.
“We thought they were security personnel who came to relax as well. I noticed they all positioned themselves at the four corners of the hall.
“The next thing I heard was an explosion, after which the arena was covered with thick smoke. Shivering, my friends and I sprawled on the ground.
“We were trying to get out when the five men started shooting sporadically at any one who tried to stand up, and in the process, killing many of the survivors of the blast,” he said.
Another witness, Usman Hassan, said he was just about to enter the hotel when the blast occurred and immediately ran away from the scene.
“As soon as I was a bit far from the scene, I heard gun-shots. Few minutes later, a white Toyota Hilux vehicle zoomed out of the hotel on high speed with men wearing army uniforms”, he said.
Confirming the blast, the state Commissioner of Police, Shehu, said efforts were being intensified to arrest other fleeing suspects.
“From the investigation conducted by the police, some suspected hoodlums were seen loitering around the brothel and the next thing that happened was an explosion”, he said.
“The area has been cordoned off and the scene secured by the Police Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit (EOD).
“The victims were rushed to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital (ATBU) for treatment and corpses evacuated to the mortuary”.
The police boss advised members of the public to always be security conscious by paying attention to persons and objects, particularly at motor parks, market places, schools, places of worship, shopping malls, eateries and hotels.
“The police have put in place strategies to fight insurgency in Bauchi State by intensifying surveillance, intelligence gathering and working in collaboration with sister security agents to secure lives and property.”