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Tragedy as suicide bombers kill 18 at Borno wedding

Eighteen people were killed on Saturday when four suicide bombers set off improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Gwoza, Borno State, the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has said.

The attack, one of the deadliest reported in the state in recent months, injured more than 30 persons. The degree of injuries ranges from abdominal ruptures to skull and limb fractures.

The Director-General of SEMA, Barkindo Saidu, said he witnessed the first blast.

 “In my presence, at about 3pm, the first bomb blast in Gwoza occurred, detonated by a female suicide bomber in the midst of the marriage ceremony celebration,” he wrote in a situation report later in the day.

“It affected more than 30 persons with various levels of injuries and instant death. Some minutes later, another blast occurred around General Hospital.”

The wedding was held at Tashan Mararaba near the Fire Service in Gwoza town.

A survivor said the first bomber was carrying a baby on her back when she stormed the venue and detonated the IED.

As people gathered to bury those killed at the wedding, Saidu said a third bomber, a lady, detonated another IED with a lot of casualties.

While emergency officials were in the hospital coordinating the rescue mission, a fourth blast was set off by a female teenager.

“So far, 18 deaths comprise children, adult males, females, and pregnant women. 19 seriously injured were conveyed to Maiduguri in four ambulances,” Saidu said.

At the time he released the situation report, he said 23 were waiting for military escort “in the Medical Regimental Services (MRS) Clinic”.

The evacuation of the injured continued into the night with the SEMA DG, who was in Gwoza when the attacks occurred, coordinating the process from there.

He also said he had received a report of a suspected suicide bomber in Pulka but did not provide further details about that.

The military has imposed a curfew in Gwoza LGA in the wake of the attacks.

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