Two teenage female suicide bombers blew themselves up at a Sallah festivities venue and a petrol station in Kano yesterday, leaving five people dead and 16 others injured.
The bombers were believed to be aged about 17 and 19, and the twin attacks were the second in as many days in Kano.
Witnesses said in the first attack at about 10am, a girl of about 17 years old detonated a bomb she was carrying on a queue of kerosene buyers at the NNPC Mega Station in Hotoro.
Four people, including a fuel attendant and the bomber, were killed while 10 others were injured.
“She disguised as if she wanted to buy kerosene like many others. As the queue was moving she detonated the bomb in her,” a witness told Daily Trust.
The police headquarters in Abuja confirmed the bombing, saying: “A suicide bomber suspected to be a female slipped into the crowd of citizens buying kerosene at the station before detonating the explosives.”
In the second incident, at about 1.15pm, another girl of about 19 years old blew herself up at the gate of the Kano Trade Fair Complex, where people had gathered to watch a show organised as part Eid el-Fitr festivities. Six persons were injured in the explosion.
A witness said while the show, organised by filmmakers, was holding at the complex, a young lady wearing a veil approached and tried to enter. As she lifted her veil to pay the entrance fee, there was an explosion.
“When she got to the gate she stopped to pay the N200 gate fee. As she was opening her veil, the explosive went off. She was the only one that died in it,” a witness told Daily Trust.
Our correspondents who visited the area heard sounds of gunfire around 1.30pm. The area was immediately sealed off by security operatives.
Daily Trust learnt that a programme being organised by filmmakers was scheduled to hold at the complex, hence the N200 gate fee. The trade fair complex usually attracts crowds of people during Sallah festivities.
In his account of the incident, Kano police spokesman Magaji Majiya said the bomber died in an explosion triggered by her when she was denied access to the complex. He said when the young lady insisted on entering, security agents insisted on searching her and she detonated the bomb.
Kano State Police Commissioner Adenerele Tasheed Shinaba confirmed both attacks and the number of casualties.
Later in a statement in Abuja, Police Force spokesman Frank Mba also confirmed the fuel station bombing, adding that the station did not go ablaze “due to the security barricade put in place by the Policemen on duty at the station. Such a situation would have clearly complicated the emergency response.”
He said security forces had cordoned the scene as bomb disposal experts sweep the area.
“Citizens were advised to stay off the scene and report any suspicious persons or activities to security forces. Full scale investigation has commenced, intensive patrol of the city is ongoing,” he said.
In a reaction to the violence, Kano State Acting Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said the explosion was unfortunate.
He urged the people to always be on the alert and report any suspicious person or objects.
Yesterday’s bombings in Kano came a day after two separate attacks left 6 people dead on Eid el-Fitr day. In one of the incidents, a girl believed to be about 16 years old blew herself up near the state-owned Northwest University at Kofar Nasarawa area, injuring five policemen. In the other attack, a bomb was hurled into the premises of a church soon after the Sunday service, killing five worshippers.
Leader of the Ibo community in Kano, the Eze Ndigbo, Mr Boniface Ebekwe, condemned the recent attacks, which he said were deliberate attempts to create ethno-religious strife. He urged people not to take laws into their own hands as doing so will make the insurgents succeed in their quest to cause mayhem. Ebekwe also called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts in tackling the insurgency ravaging the country.