Posted by Garba Ahmad, Kaduna | 7 July 2015 | 4,736 times
Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai says the death toll in this morning’s bomb blast in Sabon Gari Zaria has risen to 25.
Contrary to earlier figure of 20 which El-Rufai gave, his spokesman Samuel Aruwan said in a statement: “The casualty count as at 12 noon is 25 fatalities, including a two-year old child. 32 injured persons are being treated at the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria and other hospitals in the city.
“The city of Zaria today suffered a terrible act of infamy. Terrorists detonated explosives that killed and injured several persons at the secretariat of the Sabon-Gari Local Government Council.”
Aruwan confirmed that the blast went off as the residents welcomed the new chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the local government to his office at the secretariat. Some local government staff from Lere and Ikara were also undergoing biometric verification at the venue.
“The Kaduna State Government has expressed its sadness at this mindless attack on our citizens. It has condoled with the victims and is coordinating the treatment of the survivors,” he said.
However, a journalist working with a local radio station, who witnessed the incident, put the death toll at 40.
His words: “I was inside the hall of about 500 capacity, when workers gathered to receive the newly appointed LG Sole administrator, Engr Mohammed Usman Samaru, and to undergo the Staff Biometric Verification exercise when the bomb went off around 10:05 a.m.
“For now, the casualty figure is estimated to about 40 because I witnessed three police vans loaded with body parts being taken away. Nobody can immediately give the exact figure of casualty yet. Many of us, including the new Sole Administrator, escaped unhurt.”
Speaking at the scene of the blast, Governor El-Rufai sympathised with the direct victims and the residents of Zaria. He prayed Allah to grant the souls of the deceased victims peaceful repose. The governor condemned the attack as an inhuman act of terror, and urged the people of Kaduna State as a whole to be vigilant, even as they preserve the peace. He said residents of the state should promptly report all suspicious persons and activities to the security agencies and community leaders.
The governor announced the deployment of extra security forces across the state. He urged the people of the state to shun large gatherings but, where that is impossible, to exercise and practice maximum vigilance and vigorous checks on persons, vehicles and luggage.
“The state government will announce further steps to strengthen our security and safety in the next few days, and call on our people to cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies in these trying times,” El-Rufai stated.
•Photo, courtesy of Channels TV, shows El-Rufai speaking at the blast scene.
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