By Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
A suicide bomb attack on a mosque in Molai-Umarari, a suburb of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, has left 23 three people dead and an estimated 18 others injured.
One of those injured in the attack which was carried out by two suicide bombers is said to be the Imam of the mosque who was fortunate to be sitting outside when the incident occurred. He, along with other injured persons, is currently receiving treatment at the Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri.
By one account, the two suicide bombers, a male and a female, detonated two bombs – one inside the mosque and the other just a short distance from the mosque – within a space of five minutes as worshippers prepared for early morning prayers.
The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima who later visited Molai-Umarari, which is just about 10 kilometres from the state capital along the Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu road, commended the residents of refusing to flee their homes because of the attack
Shettima promised to fence the mosque and provide better security around it to prevent future attacks.
The governor, who donated N500, 000 to victims of the blast, also directed the Commissioner of Water Resources, Zainab Gimba, to commence the drilling of a borehole in the community to solve the problem of shortage of pipe borne water there.
The traditional head of the community, Modu Ba Mallum, attributed the attack to the absence of patrol vehicles for the use of about 70 vigilante youths operating in the area.
A security source told our reporter that 22 corpses were taken from the blast scene to the morgue of the Specialist Hospital in the capital city.
A doctor at the hospital confirmed that more than a dozen corpses were brought to the morgue and that about 15 persons were also admitted for varying degrees of injuries. According to the doctor who does not want to be named as he is not authorised to speak on the matter, some of the injured are in critical condition and might require operations or referrals to other hospitals.