Web Desk (June 18, 2018): Two suicide bombers have attacked a town in north-eastern Nigeria only hours after the country’s army chief urged displaced residents to return home because it was safe.
The blasts hit the town of Damboa in Borno state on Saturday evening and residents say at least 31 people died.
The explosions were followed up by rockets fired from outside the town.Boko Haram militants are suspected. Army chief Lt Gen Tukur Buratai had said they were no longer a threat.
A four-month military operation started on 1 May to expel Boko Haram insurgents from northern Borno and the Lake Chad region.
No group has said it carried out Saturday evening’s attacks but a militia leader Babakura Kolo, said they bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, a jihadist group that wants to establish a caliphate in northern Nigeria.
Officials said at least 20 people died in the attacks but residents said they had counted the dead and an anonymous local official confirmed the toll.“It has destroyed our houses. We have also counted 31 innocent people including children and elderly killed in the attack,” local resident Modu Usman, son of a community leader, told Reuters news agency.
More than 40 people were injured in the attacks, which were aimed at people celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday in the Shuwari and Abachari districts of the town.