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Zaria blast kills dozens, injured many workers

The victims were teachers, health workers and council staff who were attending a programme to verify genuine government workers.The event was organised by Kaduna state…

The victims were teachers, health workers and council staff who were attending a programme to verify genuine government workers.
The event was organised by Kaduna state government and holding at the Sabon Gari local government secretariat.
Survivors interviewed at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) said they could not tell if the bomb was planted at the venue or it was a suicide bomber that detonated it.
Our correspondent reports that most of those affected by the blast were workers of Lere and Kauru local government areas of the state.
“I am a primary school teacher in Lere local government. We were at the screening waiting for our turn, and what I can only recall is that I heard the thunderous sound of the explosion. Honestly, I can’t say whether it was suicide bomber or it was planted, as I found myself here on hospital bed,” a victim receiving treatment at ABUTH said. Another victim from Kauru local government of the state said most of those that lost their lives were women.
“The bomb exploded where women had formed their queue. So, if it is suicide bomber, he or she joined the female queue, as most of the dead were women.
“It is unfortunate how somebody would just decide to take innocent lives for whatever reason. Some people are using blood of innocent souls to play politics or to make money, it is really unfortunate and may Allah save us,” the victim said.
Ado Bayero is an eyewitness that said nobody can tell with certainty how the bomb exploded.
“We were here with the new chairman of Sabon Gari local government who was taken over after their swearing in when we heard the sound of the bomb blast.
“People began to run for their lives. I pray to Allah not to witness this kind of event again in my life. It was really a horrible sight,” he said.
When our correspondent arrived the scene, rescue workers that included personnel of Federal Road Safety Corps, police, military and volunteers were evacuating the dead and the injured.
At the ABUTH’s morgue, our correspondent counted 25 corpses that were evacuated from the scene of the blast and deposited at the hospital.
On arrival at the Sabon Gari local government secretariat, perhaps because of the devastating situation, Governor Nasiru el-Rufa’i couldn’t hold back the tears rolling down on his cheeks.
El-Rufa’i said “the people of Kaduna state, I have just visited the scene of this unfortunate incident where many of our people have died.”
The commissioner of Police has confirmed that 21 people were dead.
On the other hand, the state commissioner of police, Shehu Usman Umar, said the report he received from DPO Sabon Gari was that a male suicide bomber gained access to the secretariat and killed himself along with some people undergoing screening.
He urged residents to be vigilant especially with young children who are usually used in such acts, saying that the police in the state had put in more measures to curtail future occurrence.
The Chief Medical Director of the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Professor Lawal Khalid, said they had received about 32 people with various degrees of injuries and were receiving treatment at the emergency unit of the hospital.
“On the dead, I don’t have the exact number, but more than a dozen dead bodies were brought in. This is a time that everybody need to come forward and donate blood as the victims have lost a lot of blood, and since we don’t manufacture blood, people need to donate to save lives,” Professor Khalid said.
He explained that the severity of the problem made the doctors of the hospital that were on strike to resume duty, and were working along with other personnel to ensure that the victims were given adequate treatment.
Khalid said Kaduna state governor had promised to assist the hospital for proper treatment of the victims.

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