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    Wednesday, 2 May 2018

    Over 86 killed in Nigeria suicide blasts-Grave diggers confirmed

    Grave diggers on Wednesday said they buried 86 people from a double suicide bombing in northeast Nigeria, nearly three times more than the official toll.
    Two blasts ripped through a mosque and market on Tuesday in the town of Mubi, Adamawa state, in an attack that bore all the hallmarks of Boko Haram militants. The official death toll on Wednesday rose to at least 29 but local residents, a hospital source and rescue worker told AFP that many more died.
    One worker at Mubi’s only cemetery said they were “shocked” to hear about the lower toll. “We worked up to 9:00 pm burying bodies. By the time we closed, we had 76 graves. We buried 76 people yesterday (Tuesday),” he said, asking to remain anonymous. “Today, as at 3:00 pm (Wednesday), 10 more bodies were brought in and buried. These people died overnight from injuries, obviously.”
    Another gravedigger, who also asked for his name not to be used, supported the account. “We hope we are done with the burials,” he added.
    Imam Garki, head of operations for Adamawa and Taraba states at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said two of the 11 people critically injured had died overnight.
    “The total number of deaths is 30. The others are responding to treatment,” he said.
    Ahmed Sajo, information commissioner for Adamawa state who gave the lower death toll of 29, said it was “possible people could have identified their relations and taken them home without going to the hospital”.
    “In that case, we have no way of knowing how many of such cases there were. it’s possible some people could have buried their dead without taking them to hospital.”
    Conflicting death tolls are not uncommon in Nigeria and the authorities have previously under-reported casualties in the Boko Haram conflict.
    Tuesday’s attack came a day after US President Donald Trump promised his visiting Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, greater support in fighting the extremists.
    Buhari and the military have long maintained the Islamic State group affiliate is a spent force and on the verge of defeat but repeated attacks and raid in the northeast suggest otherwise.

    Suicide bombers killed more than 86 people at a mosque and a market in northeast Nigeria on Tuesday, in a twin attack bearing the hallmarks of Boko Haram and a day after US President Donald Trump pledged greater support to fight the Islamist militants.
    The blasts, said to have been carried out by young boys, happened shortly after 1pm in Mubi, some 200 kilometres from the Adamawa state capital, Yola.
    They were transferred to the Federal Medical Centre in Yola for treatment.But a medical source at the Mubi General Hospital said they had received 67 bodies, while a rescue worker involved in the relief operation said he counted 62 dead and 68 injured.
    “These I saw with my own eyes. We were counting as they were being taken,” said Sani Kakale.
    Two local residents who attended funerals for the victims said the death toll was much higher — and could climb further.
    “Before I left the cemetery I took part in the burial of 68 people. More bodies were being brought by families of the victims,” said Muhammad Hamidu.
    “I think this is the worst attack Mubi has ever witnessed. The human loss is unimaginable.” Abdullahi Labaran added: “We left 73 freshly dug graves where each victim was buried. There are still unclaimed bodies at the hospital.
    Conflicting death tolls are not unusual in Nigeria. The authorities have also previously played down casualty figures.
    Suspicion for the attack immediately fell on Boko Haram, the jihadist group whose quest to establish a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria has left at least 20,000 dead since 2009.
    Mubi has been repeatedly targeted in attacks blamed on Boko Haram since it was briefly overrun by the militants in late 2014.
    Nigeria’s government and military have long maintained that the militant Islamic State group affiliate is a spent force and on the verge of defeat.
    But there has been no let-up in attacks in the northeast, particularly in Borno state, adjacent to Adamawa, which has been the epicentre of the violence.
    Last Thursday, at least four people were killed when suicide bombers and fighters attempted to storm the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, raising fresh questions about security.
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