11 die, 28 injured in Bauchi explosion

Eleven people were killed and 28 injured when gunmen attacked Peoples Hotel, Bayan Gari in Bauchi, Bauchi State on Friday night.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Haruna Mohammed, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday that corpses of the deceased had been deposited at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, while the injured were receiving treatment at the same hospital.

An eyewitness, Ahmed Maidoki, told NAN that five persons in military uniform carried out the attack by detonating explosives and shooting at random.

“We were just sitting down, watching highlights of the ongoing FIFA World Cup at the viewing centre located in between the two-storey building of the hotel when five men dressed in military uniform strolled in.

“We thought they were security personnel, who came to relax as well. I noticed they all positioned themselves at the four corners of the hall.

According to him, an explosion followed, after which the arena was covered with thick smoke. He further said he and his friends sprawled on the ground, shivering.

“We were trying to get out when the men started shooting sporadically at any one who tried to stand up, and in the process, killing many of the survivors of the blast,” he said.

Another eyewitness, Usman Hassan, said he was just about to enter the hotel when the blast occurred and immediately ran away from the scene.

“As soon as I was a bit far from the scene, I heard gun-shots. Few minutes later, a white Toyota Hilux vehicle zoomed out of the hotel on high speed with men wearing army uniforms,” he said.

The Bauchi State Police Commissioner, Lawal Shehu, on Saturday said one suspect had been arrested in connection with the attack.

Briefing newsmen on the arrest made, Lawal said the suspect was being interrogated and efforts intensified to apprehend his accomplices that fled.

The commissioner said the number of victims of the attack had risen from 10 dead and 14 injured, to 11 dead and 28 injured.

He urged members of the public to be security conscious and observe happenings within their immediate environment.

“The general public should pay special attention to persons and objects, particularly at motor parks, market places, schools, places of worships, shopping malls, eateries and hotels.

“They should report any suspicious persons or objects within their neighbourhood, to the nearest police station for prompt response, using these numbers – 08151849417 and 07013490795.

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