A bomb explosion which was preceded by sporadic gunshots left over 20 people dead and 40 injured in Kano on Wednesday.
The explosion at the entrance to new site of the Federal College of Education, sent many students, residents of the area and business owners scampering to safety.
According to a witness, Hauwa Abdu, some gunmen who arrived at the area started shooting near the bus stop and suddenly, a man in black attire told people to remain where they were or risk being killed.
She said, “When the terrified people took to their heels, the gunmen started shooting and suddenly there was explosion at the entrance of the college.”
An NCE 2 student, Aminu Ibrahim, said many students receiving lectures in a theatre close to the gate of the institution rushed out on hearing the explosion.
He explained that in the ensuing melee, some were injured while others lost their lives.
A victim, Hanne Muhammad, said, “When we rushed out of the theatre, some of us were hit by shrapnels. My friend was hit on the face and hands. She lost consciousness.”
At the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital in the city, some workers were seen attending to injured people.
One of them,Yusuf Musa, put the number of corpses brought to the hospital at 21.
“Some people came to identify and take the corpses of their loved ones for burial. We cannot ascertain if they are more dead people but we counted 21 corpses, including babies. About 40 are receiving treatment.”
But the state Police Commissioner, Adenrele Shinaba, told journalists that 15 people were killed while 36 were injured.
The Police headquarters, in a statement which gave a different account of how the blast happened and its exact place, said two of the armed men were shot dead.
The statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, also put the death toll at 15 but gave the number of those wounded as 34.
It said the terrorists, after detonating an Improvised Explosive Device, began shooting sporadically outside the school premises.
The statement read in part,” At about 1530hrs, two armed men detonated an IED at the lecture Hall of Federal College of Education, Zaria Road, Kano.
“Thereafter, they began sporadic shooting outside the premises. Police team from a nearby Tactical Operations Point responded and shot dead the two insurgents. Their AK 47 rifles were recovered.
“On examination of the scene of the explosion, 15 dead bodies were recovered, while 34 injured were taken to hospital for treatment. The police have sealed the scene of crime and commenced investigation.”
The entrance to the college was sealed by policemen and other security officials when one of our correspondents visited.
On May 18, 2014, five people died in a suicide car bomb attack in the city.
Troops kill 300 insurgents in Borno
The military has recorded a major feat in its battle against the militant Islamic sect, Boko Haram by killing no fewer than 300 insurgents in two Borno State communities.
One hundred and fifty of them were shot dead in Konduga, a town between Bama and Maiduguri, while the remaining 150 were killed in Ngamdu, about 100 kilometres from the state capital.
The military also captured one Armoured Personnel Carrier, three Hilux vans, and a cache of arms and ammunition from the insurgents.
[/media-credit] Maiduguri residents hailing soldiers for repelling and killing about 300 insurgents in Konduga and Ngamdu in Borno State…on Wednesday
Residents of Kodunga, who were impressed by the gallantry of the soldiers, trooped to the streets hailing the special forces for routing the militants.
The special forces had killed about 150 insurgents in Konduga barely six days ago.
A member of the Civilian Joint Task Force, who put the number of insurgents killed by the soldiers in Ngamdu at 300, said he believed they (insurgents) were heading for Maiduguri for an attack on the city.
He said the soldiers from the Nigerian Army 7 Division in Maiduguri who were stationed at Konduga and Ngamdu were assisted by vigilance groups.
The source, who spoke on the phone with one of our correspondents on Wednesday afternoon, said, “As I am talking to you, the corpses of the insurgents are on the streets in the two towns.”
A vigilante, Bashir Abbas, said some militants were also repelled at Ajiri, about 60 kilometres from Maiduguri and Mafa, which is 50 kilometres from the state capital on Tuesday night.
Some of the insurgents who were going to the scenes of the battle for reinforcement in four trucks were said to have escaped.
The Defence Headquarters, in a statement on its website on Wednesday, said the insurgents were on a mission to avenge the killing of their members on September 11 when they met their waterloo.
It however did not state if the special forces recorded any casualty during the incidents which began at about 6pm on Tuesday and ended 4am on Wednesday.
The DHQ statement added that the soldiers were carrying out a cordon and search operation to find out the exact number of casualty on the side of the insurgents.
It said, “Troops this(Wednesday) morning successfully crushed another attempt by terrorists who were on a revenge mission to Konduga after 12 hours of fighting on the outskirts of the Borno State community.
“Troops are now combing the vicinity, in a cordon and search operation to determine the heavy casualties suffered by the terrorists in the encounter.
“Meanwhile, three Hilux vans, one APC and a cache of arms and ammunition were confirmed captured by the troops.”
Similarly, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Olajide Laleye, said in a statement on Wednesday that the insurgents were defeated in Konduga due to the vigilance of the troops.
Laleye also said that “three Hilux vans with mounted machine and anti-aircraft guns, one Mowag APC and assorted arms and ammunition” were seized from the militants.
The Army spokesman said that the morale of the troops was very high due to new strategies devised by the leadership of the Armed Forces.
He urged the public to continue to support the troops in the counter-terrorism operation.
Laleye said, “It must be noted that the renewed morale, fighting spirit and combat efficiency of troops have been boosted by new strategies devised by the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the support of well-meaning members of the public.
“Therefore, the Nigerian Army implores the public to continue to support the military and other security agencies engaged in the on-going operation to rid Nigeria of blood-letting insurgents and ruthless religious extremists.