At least 50 people have been killed after twin blasts that hit the rowdy central market of Gombe, in the Gombe State capital, northeast Nigeria on Thursday.
The State Commissioner of Police, Kudu Nma, who confirmed the incident, said, “There was a bomb blast, either a suicide bomber on a suicide mission or Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) were kept somewhere around the market, with the aim of causing harm to the people or aimed at causing panic and apprehension to people.”
He said that the bomb exploded at the Central Market around the Sabon Layi axis where they sell slippers and assorted wears.
“You can see people were busy shopping, preparing for the Eide-El Fitri Sallah festival and many may have either been killed or injured but the casualties are yet to be ascertained.
“As you can see, people are busy working, trying to save lives. For now we cannot tell you the number of casualties,” he said.
The CP added; “Our officers and men have condoned the place to avoid looting, and the place is relatively calm at the moment.”
A rescue officer and member of the Nigeria Red Cross Society, who opted not to be mentioned, said that they counted 48 dead bodies carried to the morgues of the Specialist Hospital and Federal Teaching Hospital located in Gombe metropolis.
Witnesses also told Channels Television that the first blast exploded at exactly 5:20PM local time and meters away with just few seconds of interval, the second one exploded, killing several people.
One of the witnesses said that he counted 50 dead bodies apart from mutilated human parts at the scene of the blasts.
Gombe State has had its sorrowful share of terrorists attack since the commencement of the Boko Haram insurgency.
No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the act but it is widely believed that it was perpetrated by the dreaded Boko Haram sect who have carried out several bombings in the country with more concentration in the northeast geopolitical zone of the country.
Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states are the worst hit by the insurgency.