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Published On: Tue, Sep 22nd, 2015

Bornu Blast: Residents Dispute 54 Official Casualties, Say Actual Dead Figure were 85

Boko Haram leader Shekau

Boko Haram leader Shekau

LAGOS SEPTEMBER 22ND (URHOBOTODAY)- – Locals in Maiduguri, northeast Nigeria, on Monday said at least 85 people were killed in a series of bombings blamed on Boko Haram, disputing a lower figure of 54 given by police.
“I can assure you that no fewer than 85 people died,” said resident Sabo Ahmed. “The figure given by the police is just the number of people taken to hospital.

“Many more died and were just taken away by their loved ones.”
The Borno state police said earlier that 54 people had died in Sunday night’s explosions, which ripped through the Aljari Cross and Gomari areas of the city.
A mosque and a “viewing centre” showing televised football were among the targets of the attacks, which the military blamed on Boko Haram militants.
Ahmed said 15 more bodies had been pulled from the rubble of the viewing centre and that four were his brothers aged between 19 to 24.
Alhaji Jidda, a resident of the Binta Sugar neighbourhood, said more than 35 people were killed at the mosque, which is thought to have been hit by a female suicide bomber.
“Apart from the imam and a few people, all the rest died instantly at the mosque because of the impact of the blast,” he said.
“From the figures we gathered, more than 85 people died,” he said.
A security source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed: “Yes, the dead should be higher than what was given to you but that (54) is the official figure,” he said.
Nigerian authorities have frequently underplayed tolls of deaths and injuries in previous attacks in the insurgency.

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