Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Multiple suicide attacks in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Tuesday claimed 23 lives, the state Police Commissioner, Damien Chukwu revealed wednesday.
Those killed were 19 persons, including 12 members of the Civilian JTF, and the four suicide bombers who carried out the attacks.
The commissioner, who briefed journalists at one of the scenes of the attacks, added that 23 other persons were injured.
He said most of the dead victims were members of the Civilian JTF who had been working in conjunction with the military and security agencies to ensure security in the troubled Borno State, the birthplace of Boko Haram.
Chukwu said: â€œTwelve Civilian JTF were killed in all the attacks and the rest were civilian victims.â€
He lamented that the seven civilian residents who were killed in the attacks, died when they gathered to mourn the 12 Civilian JTF operatives.
He said: â€œThe suicide bombers attacked the crowd of mourners, seven of them were killed, leaving many others injured.â€
The spokesman of the Civilian JTF, Danbatta Bello told journalists that the bombers specifically targeted his colleagues on duty.
Bello said: â€œA teenage female suicide bomber actually crept up to the sandbag post of our boys at Molai and before they could realise what was happening, she detonated the explosives on her body and killed three of our boys on guard duty.â€
He said the incident happened simultaneously with another suicide attack at the tea vendorâ€™s joint where â€œseven of our members who took time off to eat their dinner were killedâ€.
He further revealed that another suicide bombing took place not too far off from where the first blast took place, killing one of his operatives who tried to stop the female bomber, while the fourth blast which occurred at Jiddumeri, also took the life of another of his operatives.
â€œWe lost 12 of our operatives in all,â€ he said.