MAIDUGURI, Nigeria: Two girl suicide bombers killed at least three people and wounded 17 at a market in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri on Sunday, a spokesman for state emergency agency NEMA, Sani Datti, said. Residents said about nine people had been killed. Boko Haram militants have been waging an insurgency for seven years in the region. The militants have frequently targeted crowded areas — such as markets, places of worship and refugee camps — in suicide bomb attacks across northeast Nigeria and in neighbouring Cameroon and Niger. They have killed some 15,000 people and forced more than two million people to flee their homes. Nigeria’s army has pushed the militant group back to its stronghold in the vast Sambisa forest in the past few months but the group still stages suicide bombings.
Church collapse toll rises to 100
Meanwhile, at least 100 people were killed by the collapse of a church in southeastern Nigeria, a resident and photojournalist who visited the town morgue said on Sunday, a day after the incident. “At Uyo teaching hospital where I am now I could see over a hundred corpses, many are heaped on top off each other on the floor,” said photojournalist Ini Samuel. “Eye witnesses also said yesterday corpses were packed in four each bag.”
Gary Ubong, a resident, said the church’s roof had collapsed on worshippers while a pastor was being consecrated as bishop in the presence of government officials.
“I saw more than 100 dead bodies brought out on loaders,” said Ubong, who said he had rushed to the scene after the accident. “I also went to two hospitals and saw heaps of dead bodies difficult to count.” State police spokeswoman Cordelia Nwawe said 27 had been killed and 30 injured when the Reigners Bible church in Akwa Ibom state capital Uyo collapsed during a service on Saturday. State emergency agency NEMA said in a statement that six people had been killed and 115 injured. State governor Udom Emmanuel, who escaped unhurt from the church service, ordered the arrest of the building contractor, state news agency NAN said. Buildings collapses are frequent in the West African nation and often blamed by officials on lack of construction permits and the use of cheap materials amid widespread corruption. — Reuters