JNN 01 June 2015 Abuja : A Suspected Wahabi Boko Haram suicide bomber who managed to beat all security checks and got to a mosque inside Maiduguri market, by pretending to be a hawker, killed 16 persons and injured nearly 30 others, witnesses said.
The Suicide bomber, a young man pushing a wheelbarrow loaded with some fruits, was said to have waited until Muslim traders crowded themselves in small market mosque before he moved in to detonate his suicide belt, according to witnesses.
The blast resonated in most parts of Maiduguri at about 3:30pm.
Mallam Ali, a trader who spoke to journalists at the market said, “The young man was pushing a wheelbarrow and when he came near the mosque, he pretended he wanted to join us in observing the late afternoon prayers.
“As he parked the wheelbarrow, and went to the entrance of the already filled mosque, the bomb went off,” he said.
Mr. Ali said he was lucky to escape because he was yet to finish his ablution before joining the prayers when the incident happened.
“I was still performing my ablution when that incident happened. I had to take to my heels even though the sound of the blast had almost rendered me deaf,” he said.
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state, arrived the scene shortly after the incident to assess the damages.
Market officials told him 16 people died in the attack. They were not specific about the number of injured victims.
Mr. Shettima condemned the act, and commiserated with the families of the victims.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although Wahabi Group Boko Haram is suspected.
The attack came less than a day after Boko Haram Terrorists launched a grenade attack on the city, killing about 17 people just hours after Nigeria swore in Muhammadu Buhari as its new president.
Mr. Buhari has vowed to confront the group which has killed over 15,000 people.
At his inauguration, the president said he will relocate the military command structure to Maiduguri until the group is subdued.