DAMATURU, the Yobe State capital erupted in several bomb blasts yesterday in coordinated attacks masterminded by the Boko Haram Sect. In the ensuing melee, the Divisional Police station at the Central Roundabout, Damaturu, several patrol vehicles of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and churches were set ablaze. Some churches in the Jerusalem ward were badly affected.
Police spokesman, Toyin Gbadegeshin, told The Guardian that the attacks began at 3pm. On the number of casualties, he said: “I am right now at the Sani Abacha Specialist hospital, attending to injured policemen and soldiers. You can hear a lot of gunshots and blasts in the background as I speak to you. I cannot give you details of casualties, but certainly, some of our men and officers were killed at the bombed Police station, and in Jerusalem and Nasarawa wards of Damaturu.
A Damaturu resident, Isa Abdul told The Guardian that he heard five blasts at 3.09pm Describing the carnage, he said he heard: “boom….boom….boom and three churches caught fire.” He continued: “Five minutes later, the entire area was engulfed by fire and thick smoke, while the Divisional Police Station was still burning.”
Motorists, tri-cyclists including commuters scampered for safety and hurriedly rushed to their houses. Some of the workers at the IBB Secretariat complex and Government House were also holed in their offices, because of the fear of being caught in the crossfire between the Islamic armed sect and the JTF.