The bomb blasts on Friday at the Eid prayer ground in Yobe, Damaturu have been traced to two little girls between the ages of 10 and 11, eyewitnesses and local security sources said.
The bombs exploded not more than two kilometers away from the Yobe Mosque and Islamic Centre Eid Prayer ground where the visiting chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai, a major general, and the governor of Yobe state, Ibrahim Gaidam, joined thousands of other worshipers to observe the end of fasting prayer.
Mr. Buratai arrived Damaturu on Thursday in line with his earlier promise to join troops on ground to celebrate the Eid el Kabir and also boost their morale.
A witness said the two girls tried to access the Eid prayer ground from different entry points and had to pass through security checks mounted by volunteers.
“It was when the first girl was being screened that the blast happened,” a police officer present at the scene said. “Shortly after that, another one went off from yet another little girl aged between 11 and 10 years.”
The officer did not want his name mentioned as he was not cleared to speak officially.
“We doubt if the girls knew the dangers in the act they were asked to do,” he said. “Perhaps, somebody from afar was trailing and monitoring their movements to see if they could make it into the prayer ground and when they probably saw that they would be checked they decided to detonate the bombs from a remote device. If not such little girls may not have the intelligence of carrying out that kind of dangerous attack on their own.”
Another witness, who said he partook in the evacuation of the victims, Bashir Musa, said the casualty was more than a dozen.
“How can anybody say only 10 people were killed?” Musa asked. “From what I saw alone, more than 20 people were dead, and many of them were beyond recognition; some had parts of their bodies chopped up too.”
A hospital source had said at least 10 persons were so far confirmed dead in the blast.
According to the source from the hospital in Damaturu, many casualties were brought in to the health facility.
The hospital source, who did not want to be named, said many persons were injured as well.
The Eid ground hit by the blast is located at an area called phase-one along Maiduguri Road.
A resident, Abdul Malik, told PREMIUM TIMES, that “It happened at about 8am. Now we are being asked to return back home. Those that had gotten close to the Eid ground said many people were affected.”