Three Killed, Four Injured in Niger Explosion

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

An explosion took place at Gari village near Kontagora town of Niger State yesterday, killing three people and injuring four others.
While the villagers claimed the explosion was by a suicide bomber the police described the incident as an accident.

The incident, which took place at the Gari market yesterday morning, recorded low casualty figure because Saturday was not a market day in the town.
The villagers believed the incident was a suicide bomber attack because the “bomber” died along with the two others believed to be traders.

However, the police version had it that the explosion was as a result of mishandling of an explosive device by a newly-recruited soldier who just returned from Maiduguri where he was involved in the fight against Boko Haram.
Police Public Relations Officer DSP Bala Elkana, who confirmed the incident, gave the name of the soldier as Private Tanko Damina.

According to Elkana, “Tanko Damina just returned from Maiduguri. He came back with some explosive device and was in the habit of showing off to the villagers that he was actually involved in the Maiduguri operation. Tanko Damina used to carry the explosives on his body around the village.”

Elkana said yesterday morning the explosives went off in the market place, killing Damina and two others and injuring four others, adding “we thank God that it was not a market day; the casualty would have been very high.”

When told that the incident smelt of a suicide bomber attack, Elkana insisted that it was not. The police spokesman said the force and the Army have despatched anti bomb experts to the home of the deceased to check if there were other IEDs in the residence.
The incident was said to have created panic in the village but the police said “everything is now normal”