By Soni Daniel
A female suicide bomber yesterday morning, at about 10 am, bombed bank customers at the First Bank, Azare, Bauchi State while banking transactions were going on, killing seven and injuring 10.
A resident of Azare town who spoke on the condition of anonymity said most of the victims were workers who were in the bank to withdraw their salaries.
Reuters however reported that nine people died from the explosion.
The suicide bomber, it was learnt concealed the Improvised Explosive Device, IED, in her hijab and joined the bank customers on a queue to make withdrawals from one of the bank’s ATMs centres before the bomb exploded.
The Information and Communications Officer, at the Federal Medical Centre, Azare, Mallam Dahiru Haruna Shira, confirmed the incident on the telephone with newsmen adding that both the injured and the dead were brought to the hospital.
However, the Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Azare, Dr. Abdullahi Ibrahim, said at the hospital that 14 dead bodies and 37 injured persons were brought to the hospital.
Ibrahim also said 16 other victims were still on admission, while others were referred to Malam Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital, Kano because the victims had brain injuries.
Two women were among those who died, and most of the people are from within Azare, while others are from Shira and Giade, he said.
The First Bank building where the suicide bombing took place had all its glass windows shattered. All banks in the town have been closed down and banking services suspended.
Another bank staff who spoke on the issue said about 20 persons died while another said that the woman who carried out the attack had her body cut into two even as her head was found across the road near a suya spot, adding that a student of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, who was in the bank to make withdrawals when the incident that killed her occurred.
The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in Bauchi State, DSP Haruna Mohammed, also confirmed the bank attack by a suspected Boko Haram female suicide bomber, pointing out that seven persons died while another 10 sustained various degrees of injuries.
“On the 7/11/2014 at about 10:05hrs,there was a bomb explosion suspected to have been carried out by a female suicide bomber at First Bank premises in Azare Town, Bauchi State,” he said, adding that the, “scene of incident was visited by the Commissioner of Police for an on the spot assessment and to commiserate with victims.”
He further said that, ‘’five of those wounded were treated and discharged.”
According to him, “The entire surrounding have been cordoned off and swept by Police Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit, E.O.D,” even as “four suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident and they are assisting the police with useful information that could aid investigation.’’