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8 Killed in Kano Health College Bomb Explosion

8 Killed in Kano Health College Bomb Explosion
An operative of the Islamic Sharia police called Hisbah holding a cellophane bag containing human flesh collected at the scene of the bomb blast in Kano on Monday. Inset: An arrested suspect.

There was pandemonium along the Gida Murtala-BUK Road in Kano on Monday when an improvised explosive device went off in the School of Hygiene Technology, killing eight people.

About 20 others were critically injured and eight vehicles badly damaged in the incident that was said to have been caused by a suicide bomber.

Most of the victims were freshmen rushing to meet the deadline to register for the new academic session.

It was learnt that the injured were taken from the scene, which was immediately cordoned off by security operatives, to an undisclosed public health facility in the city.

A teacher however told the Agence France Presse that the blast originated from a car parked near the college in the Sabo Kofar area of the city.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Aderenle Shinaba, and the spokesman, Magaji Majiya, confirmed that eight people died in the explosion.

Shinaba, however, told journalists shortly after visiting the scene that 12 persons were injured in the explosion which occurred at about 2.05 pm.

He said, ‘‘There was an explosion in the school this (Monday) afternoon and it happened right inside the school premises.

‘‘I want to confirm to you that 20 people were moved to the hospital, but eight were confirmed dead and 12 others injured.’’

The commissioner, who linked the blast to suicide bomber, also said one suspect arrested in connection with the blast was undergoing interrogation at the state police command headquarters.

He said, ‘‘The suspect is in our custody and we will get to know the motive behind the attack and who sent him on this deadly errand.

“Every lead seems to point at suicide bombing. Unlike our previous experience, none of the vehicles parked inside this school caught fire and there is no hole around to suggest a car bombing, but all leads are still open for investigation.”

The Public Relations Officer of the school, Mallam Muhammad, said the mangled bodies of victims were packed in cellophane bags and taken to a government hospital.

He said, “It was a terrible sight to behold when we came for rescue operation.

“We were conducting the screening of our intakes when a suicide bomber penetrated the orderly queue and blew himself and a number of people up.”

Only last month, twin bomb blasts killed scores of people in the Sabon Gari area of the city.

In Abuja, the Coordinator, National Information Centre, Mike Omeri, expressed government’s displeasure with the senseless killing of innocent persons.

He said, “At about 2:05pm this(Monday) afternoon, there was an explosion at the Kano State School of Hygiene located in Kano Municipal City Area of Sabo Kofar. The bomb was planted within the school compound close to the road by yet to be identified persons.

“Emergency services have been fully mobilised to the scene while investigation is ongoing.”

Omeri also disclosed that the notorious terrorist, Mallam Hussain, was killed during an encounter between his group and a military convoy along the Jos-Bauchi Expressway.

According to him, Hussaini, who controlled a terrorist cell in Plateau State, was known to have attacked a Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Abuja in November 2012 and a military convoy along the Lokoja-Kaduna Highway which led to the death of two soldiers.

He explained that the gang which operated in a Ford bus with eight primed Improvised Explosive Devices and assorted arms and ammunition, had launched an attack on a military convoy on operational patrol, but was overpowered.

Omeri stated that security personnel in Mallam Fatori in Borno State pursued some terrorists who attacked a police station and recovered the vehicles stolen by them.

The troops, he added, recovered military uniforms, protective gears, boots and goods which the gang had stolen from various locations around the Nigeria-Niger border.

The NIC Coordinator also said two men – Sani Sule and Idris Rume – who were found loitering around the Aba Prisons were arrested and handed over to troops in the state for further investigations.

On the 486 travellers arrested in Abia State, Omeri said investigations were going on to determine their status.

He added that a kidnap syndicate operating in the Federal Capital Territory had also been arrested.

He advised “members of the public, particularly young girls, to take precautionary measures to avoid being kidnapped.”

Meanwhile, more than 60 women were allegedly abducted by Boko Haram in Kummabza, Damboa Local Government Area of Borno State between Thursday last week and Sunday.

Sources in the LGA told journalists in Maiduguri on Monday that the whole of Kummabza, was destroyed by the sect members who also killed about 30 men during the incidents.

The Damboa LGA chairman, Alamin Mohammed, could not be reached on the telephone for confirmation of the abduction and killings.

The secretary of the council, Modu Mustapha, who was spoken to by journalists said he was not authorised to speak on the matter.

All attempts to get security agencies to speak on the incidents were equally not successful as the mobile telephone lines of their spokesmen were not reachable.

The Presidency has however insisted that it will not pay ransom to Boko Haram to secure the release of the over 200 schoolgirls abducted from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, on April 14.

The Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the President, Dr. Doyin Okupe, in an interview posted online on Monday by Aljazeera, also said that President Goodluck Jonathan would soon visit Chibok.

While emphasising the fact that the Presidency will not engage in any ransom deal with the insurgents, he argued that since Boko Haram insurgency was a Nigerian problem, it would be solved in the “Nigerian” way.

Okupe said, “It is very clear that we’re not doing that (paying ransom to secure the release of the Chibok girls). The President said this several times. We’re not going to pay a ransom.

“This is a Nigerian problem; we’re going to find a Nigerian solution to it. We’ve always been able to find Nigerian solutions to Nigerian problems. We’ve seen this problem. We’re on top of it and we’re going to solve it.”

On why the President had yet to visit Chibok, Okupe explained that even though Jonathan, as a person, had not done so, the Presidency had been there.

He said, “The President as a person has not visited Chibok. But the Presidential team –the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff, and the Chief of Defence Staff –has been to Chibok.

“It is something that is coming. But, what we consider the most important thing is not giving consideration to things that are theatrical; things that are just palliative at the moment.

“The President will go there. He’s been to Borno State before and he slept there. No President goes to a war zone and sleeps there; not even Gordon Brown or Barack Obama. President Jonathan has done that. We’ll get to that point.”

The presidential aide also stated that the state of emergency in three states in the North-East was to get soldiers to combat the insurgents.

“The state of emergency is not to prevent death. The state of emergency is to allow the military to act unchecked and is to prevent them from being sued in the law court. This is so that they can do things that will facilitate their combat-readiness against the insurgency,” he added.

He, however, claimed that there were “powerful people” who were not happy with the military presence in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

Okupe said, “Powerful people in Borno State and other states in the North-East are against the presence of the military in those areas. They have made this very clear. They even said this in their presentation to the President. At the beginning, they said, ‘move away your army we don’t want them’.”

He, however, agreed that the soldiers in those areas had committed some human rights violations.

“There are human issues; it is not peculiar to Nigeria; you have it in Syria, you have it in Iraq. These are human lapses. Sometimes soldiers do go into excesses for which they are punished for. And that’s why they have court-martials. But overall, our soldiers are disciplined; they’re highly motivated and they’re very well catered for,” Okupe explained.

Asked why the soldiers had not been able to defeat the Boko Haram militants, he replied, “Just the same reason why one of the most powerful armies in the world (the United States among) couldn’t cope with Iraq.

“Insurgency is the most difficult thing for a regular military set-up to cope with. It is difficult as we have seen in Britain, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, in the Maghreb and so on. It’s even worse when you have them as nationals; when the insurgents are part of the country. They’re not differentiated easily. It’s been a difficult war.

“The Nigerian government has been doing extremely well. In fact, we’ve done better when compared historically with others.”

Okupe also said that Nigeria did not need foreign troops to aid its fight against Boko Haram .

“We have excess of foot soldiers in the country; presently about 20,000 to 30,000 in Borno State. We can quadrupled that number. We don’t need foreign intervention (foreign troops),” he said.

Source: Punch

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