Bombers attack Kano poly, Potiskum mosque, kill 16

Another female suicide bomber struck at the Kano Polytechnic on Wednesday, killing two people.

There was however conflicting figures by government agencies on the number of those injured by the bomber who also died in the process.

While the state police command put the injured at six, the National Information Centre said 13.

Before news of the incident which occurred at about 2.30pm on Wednesday, there were reports that   Boko Haram insurgents killed 13 people in a   mosque and market in Potiskum,   Yobe State.

The fresh Kano bombing led to a stampede among members of staff of the institution and final year students who were going through a list of successful graduates mobilised for the Batch B of the National Youth Service Corps.

Eyewitness accounts indicated that the suicide bomber was carrying an Improvised Explosive Device hidden under her dress.

Security agents   cordoned off the scene of the incident as officers of the Police Bomb Disposal Unit began investigations.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adelenre Shinaba,   said, “The teenage female suicide bomber sneaked into the crowd and detonated the IED which she concealed .”

Shinaba, who said   the charred remains of the   bomber had been deposited at a morgue,   enjoined residents of the state to be extra vigilant and to report suspicious movements to security agents.

The British Broadcasting Corporation however reported that the explosion occurred as students queued to check their names on a new admission list .

Although it did not give the casualty figure, it quoted witnesses as saying that bodies lay strewn at the blast site.

The BBC also quoted Reuters news agency as putting the death toll at six.

In Abuja, the Chairman of NIC, Mr. Mike Omeri, who also put the death toll at two,   disclosed at a news conference   that   a 10-year old girl strapped with explosives was among three suspected terrorists arrested in Katsina on Tuesday night.

Omeri said, “This afternoon (Tuesday), another female suicide bomber exploded an IED at the Kano State Polytechnic where some final year students who had completed their work had gone to collect their call-up letters for the National Youth Service.

“So far, three persons have been reported killed. Thirteen others are reported to have sustained injuries and were rushed to the hospital for treatment.

“Investigations are ongoing to determine the forces behind it and also to ascertain the final number that may have been involved in this dastardly act.’’

Omeri, who also dismissed insinuations that   Boko Haram   may have started using the abducted Chibok girls as suicide bombers, gave the name of the 10-year-old girl arrested in Katsina as Hadiza Musa.

He said, “The second thing is the arrest of three Boko Haram suspects in Katsina. Security forces on Tuesday July 29 at about 10pm along Zaria Road, Tudun Wada of Funtua Metropolis arrested three suspects believed to be members of Boko Haram.

“The three suspects are   Iliya Haliru,   Zainab Musa (18) and Hadiza Musa (10 ) . The three suspects were arrested in a Honda CRV.

“When they were directed to disembark for security check,   Hadiza was discovered to have been strapped with an explosive belt.

“Immediately, Iliya and Zainab made attempt to escape with the car but were   blocked by other concerned Nigerians and subsequently arrested. The police successfully unstrapped the explosive.

He lamented that “some parents are also into this (terrorism) that they are willing to take their children as young as 10 years into act of cowardice and self-destruct.”

Omeri called on “parents who want their children to be taught quaranic education to go to formal schools established for the purpose instead of subjecting them to strangers whose story or history they don’t know about.”

Force Public Relations Officer,   Frank Mba, also threw light on why terrorists now use young girls for terrorism.

He added that more female security officers would be deployed in frisking women and girls.

Mba said, “If you have been following the trend of terrorism worldwide, you will understand that the use of female suicide bombers is not totally new, though it is a new trend in our own part of the world.

“The reason why established international terror organisations in the world go for female suicide bombers is clear. The major reason is because women generally raise less suspicion, particularly when there are security layers, and so they take advantage of the fact that women raise less suspicion to indoctrinate and recruit female suicide bombers.

Kano has been under a series of attacks by female suicide bombers since Sunday.

13 killed, scores injured in Potiskum

One of our correspondents gathered   from Potiskum residents that insurgents, arrived in unmarked vehicles, threw   IEDs at the   Shakafa mosque and the   market square around 7.30pm on Tuesday.

A resident, Hudu Ibrahim, said that some of his injured kinsmen were   “ taken to hospitals in seven Hilux patrol vehicles by the military and police.”

He added, “We were shocked that the mosque was bombed by   Boko Haram suspects. Immediately our Imam completed the reading the Holy Quran, we were about to continue with our prayers, when we suddenly heard a blast that shook the entire building, leaving five people dead.

“Many of our fellow Muslims   also had broken limbs while others lost their arms. ”

Another resident, Isa Ahmadu,   said that a suicide bomber that detonated the explosives pretended as if he was performing his ablution.

The Yobe State Police Commissioner, Markus Danladi, also confirmed that over a dozen people were feared dead in the attacks.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, who is currently performing the Umrah (Lesser Hajj) in Saudi Arabia said he was deeply shocked and outraged by the incidents.

The governor, in a statement by his spokesman, Mallam Abdullahi Bego, described the attacks as “senseless, heinous and barbaric and totally unjustifiable.”

Gaidam   directed that free medical treatment be provided for all the injured until they were discharged from hospitals.

FG to raise $500m for terror victims

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday said he hoped to raise about $500m over a 12-month period for the Victims Support Fund.

The fund, which will   be administered by a committee headed by Lt.Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), is meant to provide relief and succour for all those who have been adversely affected by terrorism and insurgency in the country.

The first   dinner aimed at raising the money is billed for the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday (today).

Jonathan said he expected members of the private sector and friends of the country in the international community to donate generously to the fund.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, quoted the President as speaking at separate audiences with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Mr. Kamalesh Sharma, and the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the fund would be used to further alleviate the sufferings and deprivations imposed on Nigerians living in states worst affected by terror attacks.

The President, who reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to doing all within its powers to help victims of insurgency and terrorism rebuild their lives and communities, said that the fund, which will be managed by a non-governmental organisation, will also be deployed in support of the rebuilding of destroyed schools and the creation of a safer environment for education in affected states.

Welcoming the pledges of support from the Commonwealth and UNFPA,   the President said his administration appreciated the solidarity of the international community as it grapples with the challenging task of overcoming the twin scourges of terrorism and insurgency.

“We continue to work very hard to deal with the problem. It is a major challenge and we welcome all the assistance we can get,” Jonathan was quoted as saying.

He also assured Sharma that Nigeria remained fully committed to the goals of the Commonwealth and would continue to support all efforts to reform and strengthen the organisation for the benefit of member-countries and their people.

Sharma had told the President that he was in Abuja to express the Commonwealth’s full solidarity with Nigeria as it contends with the very difficult task of overcoming insurgency and terrorism, and to also explore ways in which the Commonwealth could assist Nigeria in that regard.
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