Friday, November 7, 2014 1:59 pm
A bomb concealed in a black plastic bag killed no fewer than 10 persons at a First Bank cash point in Azare, Bauchi state on Friday. It was near the scene of a recent bus station attack blamed on Boko Haram.
Three witnesses said the bomber approached a crowd queued up at the ATM and tried to leave a parcel packed with explosives on a parked motorcycle but was stopped by locals.
“A man came on foot to this ATM where a large crowd was taking turns to withdraw money,” said Lamara Ibrahim, who was at the scene.
“It was while they were talking to him that the bomb exploded,” said Lamara Ibrahim, who estimated that there were 10 bodies at the scene but could not offer a definitive casualty figure.
The incident reportedly happened at 10.30 a.m today.
Musa Usman, who was also nearby, gave an identical account of the attack and estimated that several people were killed.
A bomb blast at a bus station in Azare killed at least five people on October 23, with many in the city pointing the finger at Boko Haram, which is waging a five-year uprising against the Nigerian state.
The bus station is just 100 metres (330 feet) from the cash machine.
An official at the depot, who asked to remain anonymous, said he rushed down the road after hearing a “huge blast” and helped evacuate the victims from the scene to a hospital.
He also estimated that 10 people were killed and several others were injured.
Police in Bauchi did not answer calls and messages seeking comment.
Ishola Micheal, the spokesman for Bauchi’s Governor Isa Yuguda, said he was aware of an incident in Azare but declined to confirm any details.
Bauchi borders Yobe state, one of three northeast states under emergency rule since May of last year because of Boko Haram violence.
The area has been attacked repeatedly through the uprising, which is estimated to have killed more than 10,000 people.
Some violence in the north blamed on Boko Haram has been the work of separate criminal groups.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, the targeted bombing in Azare resembled scores of other Boko Haram attacks.