A suicide attack by a teenage boy after early morning prayers at a Mosque has claimed the lives of at least 50 persons in Mubi, Adamawa State.
According to the Adamawa State Police Command, the suicide attack occurred around 5:20am local time, at Kunu Araha, a suburb in Mubi North.
It was allegedly triggered by a yet to be identified teenage boy who set off the suicide vest he was wearing.
Adamawa police spokesman, Othman Abubakar, who confirmed the incident, said more than 30 persons lost their lives in the dawn Mosque attack.
“We were made to understand that there was a bomb blast at a mosque in Mubi and over 30 lives were lost. A boy about 17-year-old wearing a suicide vest entered the mosque along with other worshippers. Immediately after the prayers, he detonated the bomb. Many of the wounded are receiving treatment at various hospitals in Mubi North where the attacks occurred around Kunu Araha area” he said.
He noted that several other persons wounded in the attacks are receiving medical attention at various medical hospitals in Mubi Town.
However, emergency aid workers and other first responders put the death toll in the attack at 40.
An official working with the International Rescue Committee, Emma Adasolid, among the first responders at the scene said about 40 dead bodies were evacuated.
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Reports also estimated that at least 50 people may have died in the attack.
Asked who was responsible, Abubakar in an AFP report said, “We all know the trend. We don’t suspect anyone specifically but we know those behind such kind of attacks.”
The attack bore all the hallmarks of Boko Haram, the Islamist militants whose insurgency has left at least 20,000 people dead and more than 2.6 million others homeless since 2009.
Haruna Furo, head of the Adamawa state emergency management agency, and Musa Hamad Bello, chairman of the Mubi north local government area, both confirmed the attack.
They gave lower death tolls but both said the number of those killed was likely to rise.
Another emergency services official described the blast as “devastating”. He said only that there were “high casualties”.
– Roof blown off –
Abubakar Sule, who lives near the mosque, said he had just returned home when he heard the blast.
“I was there when the rescue was on and 40 people died on the spot and several others were taken to hospital with severe and life-threatening injuries,” he added.
“The roof was blown off. People near the mosque said the prayer was mid-way when the bomber, who was obviously in the congregation, detonated his explosives.
“This is obviously the work of Boko Haram.”
Boko Haram briefly overran Mubi in late 2014 as its fighters rampaged across northeastern Nigeria, seizing towns and villages in its quest to establish a hardline Islamic state.
The town’s name was changed temporarily to Madinatul Islam, or “City of Islam” in Arabic, during the Boko Haram occupation.
But it has been peaceful since the military and the civilian militia ousted them from the town, which is a commercial hub and home to the Adamawa State University.
In recent months, Boko Haram activity has been concentrated on the far north of Adamawa state, around Madagali, which is near the border with neighbouring Borno state.
Earlier this month, at least two civilians were killed when dozens of Boko Haram fighters tried to storm the town of Gulak but were repelled by soldiers.
There have been repeated suicide bombings in the area, which lies not far from the Sambisa Forest area of Borno, where the militants had a base.
Boko Haram fighters are also said to be hiding in the Mandara mountains, to the east of Adamawa state, which forms the border with neighbouring Cameroon.