Monday, June 6, 2011

AFRICA: NIGERIA: BOMBING OF CATHOLIC CHURCH BY ISLAM SECT

ALL AFRICA REPORT; Attacks by members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram in Maiduguri, Borno State continued yesterday, with twin bomb explosions at the main store of the Disease Control Unit of the Borno State Ministry of Health and St. Patrick Catholic Church.

Drugs, vaccines and property worth millions of naira were destroyed in the blasts, though no loss of lives was reported as at the time of going to the press.

When our correspondent visited the scene of the explosion yesterday, the stores were still burning while members of the fire fighting were busy trying to put the fire off.

A trader whose store was affected, Mohammed Mustapha told our correspondent that he lost over N25 million in the inferno.

He said: "The fire destroyed Chinese carpet, blanket, wrappers and other materials I kept in the store. It also destroyed the store of my neighbour who sales food stuffs.

Another bomb also exploded in the Saint Patrick Catholic Church opposite Borno state secretariat uprooting electric poles and cables and destroyed bishop's office.

Our correspondent gathered that the incident occurred at about 3:05 pm.

When our correspondent contact the State Police Public Relations Officer Asp Lawal Abdulahi or confirmations, he said he is waiting of the DPO in-charge of the area to brief him and that he will get back to newsmen

Meanwhile, 18 persons have been confirmed dead, while 31 persons are currently hospitalised following last weekend's multiple bomb blasts in Northern parts of the country during the May 29 celebrations.

This was as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has provided relief materials and medical supports to victims of bomb blasts that occurred on Inauguration Day in, especially in Military Barracks Bauchi, and Zuba on the outskirts of Abuja.

Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi who disclosed this in Bauchi during on the spot-assessment of the situation said many lives were actually saved as result of proactive approaches, preventive measures as well as prompt response of relevant agencies before and during the incidents.

Sani- Sidi said NEMA has continued to deploy relief assistance and rallied medical supports for speedy recovery of victims of bomb blasts in the country.

"Our operational offices have commenced compilation of lists of the victims and damages for the required assistance."

While making cash donation and provision of relief materials, the NEMA boss further disclosed that the federal government is taking the responsibility for the treatment and feeding of victims that are still admitted in various public hospitals in Bauchi and Federal Capital Territory.

He also commended the stakeholders, particularly the State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), military, the police, civil defence corps and the Red Cross for the prompt assistance rendered to those affected by the blast.

During the visit, the NEMA team was received by the state Deputy Governor Alhaji Sagir Aminu Saleh, Commander 33 Artillery Brigade, Brigadier General A. Robinson and the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleman Adamu.

Meanwhile, suspected Boko Haram members late on Wednesday set the office of the Borno State National Programme on Immunisation (NPI) in Unguwan Doki in Maiduguri ablaze.

Residents of the place said in Maiduguri yesterday that the fanatics attacked the building with explosives.

"We were at home watching the Nigeria/Argentina match when we heard large bang around 7.23 p.m.

"Shortly after, we began to hear sporadic gunshots outside, followed by noise of people running helter and shelter outside," Mallam Bello Isa said.

Isa said the incident was followed by a large smoke coming out of the building after it was gutted by fire.


Also, Mallam Usman Musa, a security guard, said some individuals entered the building around 7 p.m. and set the place ablaze.Madam Lizzy Umoh, another resident, corroborated Isa's claim, saying the fire subsequently, engulfed nearby stores where all items were completely destroyed.

"They chased out the old security man immediately they got in and planted explosives which went off and set the place on fire," Musa said.

When contacted, Mallam Lawal Abdullahi, the Police Public Relations Officer ruled out sabotage in the incident.

"It was purely a fire incident and the police have already commenced investigations into the cause.

"There was no life lost but we are yet to quantify the value of the property lost," Abdullahi said.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201106060433.html

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