Nine feared killed, scores injured in clash of police, tanker drivers, Damaturu bomb blast
NINE persons were feared killed during a clash between tanker drivers and some policemen in Chadiya Village of Wukari Local Council of Taraba State as well as in explosions involving a female suicide bomber of about 12 years of age in Damaturu, Yobe State.
The incident involving the three persons, including a policeman, began when tanker drivers barricaded the Wukari-Jalingo Expressway making it impossible for travellers to access the road.
An eyewitness said the uprising, which led to the killing of two tanker driver assistants and a policeman, was due to refusal of one of the tanker drivers to part with N1,000 at the police check-point.
Speaking with The Guardian, he said: “When the tanker driver got to the police checkpoint, he offered the policemen on duty the sum of N500, which according to him, they rejected. “They insisted that the driver must give them the usual N1,000 they have been collecting from tankers and other trucks. So, before we knew what was happening, one of the policemen pulled his gun and fired the motor-boy.
The police did not stop there as they went ahead to gun down another motor boy.” Irked by the development, one of the tanker drivers whom the police bullet could not penetrate, was said to have macheted to death one of the policemen at the checkpoint.
The situation which The Guardian learnt led to burning down of a police station, has compelled policemen in all the checkpoints along the said road to flee their duty posts as the people were bent on avenging the killing of their colleagues.
In the explosions which killed six people, including two suspected suicide bombers, occurred in Damaturu. The Yobe Police Command Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Toyin Gbadegeshin, who confirmed the incident to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that three people were in critical condition, while 40 others who sustained various degrees of injury had been evacuated to hospitals in the area.
He said one of the explosions involving a female suicide bomber of about 12 years of age, happened at the entrance of the Damaturu main motor park. “The girl detonated the explosive at the screening centre of the motor park gate, killing herself and four others, including a pregnant woman and a baby.” “The other explosive, which went off at about the same time with the first one at Pompomari when a suspected male suicide bomber sensing he might be apprehended, ran into a nearby bush and the explosive went off killing him alone,” the police spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Abdullahi Bego, Director of Press to Yobe State Governor, described the incident as “sad and unfortunate.”