A massive blast caused by a female suicide bomber yesterday hit a major commercial area in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, killing seven people and injuring about 33 others, officials said.
An eyewitness said the blast occurred behind the Damaturu Motor Park called Bayan Tasha.
“It was a female suicide bomber that detonated the bomb,” said a trader, one Mallam Audu, who witnessed the unfortunate incident.
“No one thought she could be a threat but many people testified seeing her moving around as if she was trying to locate a shop where she wanted to buy something. It was after the blast that people recognised her from her dress and face,” he added.
Others who also witnessed the incident identified the suspect as a female who appeared to be in her teenage, dressed in full hijab, who simply walked into a crowded spot where commercial activities take place.
The Damaturu main market, which is centrally located, is also known as Sunday market because it opens for trading on Sunday. It is located on the outskirts of the town along Damaturu-Potiskum road. During the other days of the week, Bayan Tasha serves as a make shift centre of commerce for residents of the town.
It was that commercial centre that the suicide bomber chose to attack.
Following the incident, Yobe state governor, Ibrahim Geidam, visited the Damaturu General Hospital where most of the victims were taken for treatment.
At the hospital, the governor was briefed by the chief medical director, Garba Musa Fika, who disclosed that seven persons were killed while 33 others were seriously injured in the blast.
Reacting to the incident, Governor Geidam described it as “unfortunate and inhuman” even as he urged victims to take what happened as a test from God at a trying moment.
He promised that government would foot the bills for all the treatment given to the survivors.