By Michael Olugbode
The death toll in Tuesday’s attack by Boko Haram fighters on Maiduguri, the Borno State capital has risen to 16, hospital officials said yesterday.
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, after visits to both University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) and State Specialist Hospital, had said 10 persons were killed and 47 persons injured.
But new details emerged yesterday from sources at the two hospitals that the death toll had risen to 16.
One of the sources, a nurse, said three persons died on Tuesday night after the governor’s visit.
The nurse, who spoke anonymously as she was not authorised to speak to the press said three other persons died yesterday.
She said: “It is said that six people were lost at both hospitals after the initial 10 persons that were brought in dead.
“Three died before the break of day and the three others died this morning. We can only pray that no more death is recorded as there are few other persons in critical situation.”
A security source also confirmed that the death toll has risen from what the governor made public.
A press statement issued by the governor’s spokesman, Mallam Isa Gusau, had said the governor was at the two hospitals yesterday to sympathise with those injured in the attack.
He said after Boko Haram fighters fired shots from Rocket-Propelled Grenades (RPGs), on parts of the town, 10 persons were killed and 47 others were injured.
He stated that the RPGs were fired from Kaleri, an outskirt of Maiduguri, with grenades hitting Gwange and Adam Kolo communities, both densely populated areas in the inner city.
He said most of the deaths occurred in Gwange, adding that one of the RPG shots hit a children’s playground in the area.
The governor also spoke on the military regaining Marte from the insurgents.
He said he was not just pleased but also optimistic that the military would work hard to retain, continue its peace-building and stability efforts in ways that should ensure the insurgents do not take Marte again, or any other part of the state.