30 Killed, 80 Injured As Blast Hits Yola

Muhammadu-Buhari_Naijapals[dot]com

No fewer than than 30 people were killed on Tuesday when a bomb blast hit packed crowds in Yola, northeast Nigeria, just days after President Muhammadu Buhari visited and declared that Boko Haram were close to defeat.

The explosion happened at about 8:20 pm in the Jambutu area of the Adamawa state capital.

“So far, we’ve recorded about 32 dead and about 80 injured,” said Sa’ad Bello, the Yola coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The Red Cross and the Police said 31 people died and 72 were injured.

Red Cross official Aliyu Maikano and residents said the area targeted was a lorry park which also houses a livestock market, an open-air restaurant and a mosque.

The area was immediately cordoned off but with power unavailable, the rescue effort was conducted in near darkness.

“Victims could be lying all over the place,” Maikano said.

Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, it bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, which has previously attacked Yola with suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices in recent months.

When President Buhari visited Yola earlier in the month, he decorated soldiers for bravery in counter-insurgency. He also visited a camp for people displaced by six years of violence that has left at least 17,000 people dead. He then told troops he believed Boko Haram “are very close to defeat” and urged soldiers “to remain vigilant, alert and focused to prevent Boko Haram from sneaking into our communities to attack soft targets”.

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