Saturday, 28 June 2014

‘Soldiers’ attack Bauchi hotel with explosives, kill 14

No fewer than 14 people were confirmed dead and 28 injured when gunmen attacked a hotel in Bauchi, Bauchi State, on  Friday night. Ten persons, who were among those watching football at a viewing centre, died immediately.
Police Public Relations Officer of the state police command Haruna Mohammed told the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday that the attack occurred at Peoples Hotel, Bayan Gari area of Bauchi metropolis.
He said corpses of the deceased had been deposited at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, while the injured were receiving treatment at the same hospital.
Military, police and Nigeria Red Cross personnel were already at the scene when NAN correspondent visited on Saturday morning.
An eyewitness, Malam Ahmed Maidoki, told NAN that five persons in military uniform carried out the attack by detonating explosives and shooting at random.
Maidoki said, “We were just sitting down, watching highlights of the ongoing FIFA World Cup at the viewing centre located in between the two story building of the hotel when five men dressed in military uniform strolled in.
“We thought they were security personnel, who came to relax as well. I noticed they all positioned themselves at the four corners of the hall.

“The next thing I heard was an explosion, after which the arena was covered with thick smoke. Shivering, my friends and I sprawled on the ground.
“We were trying to get out when the five men started shooting sporadically at any one who tried to stand up, and in the process, killing many of the survivors of the blast.”
Another eyewitness, Usman Hassan, said he was just about to enter the hotel when the blast occurred, forcing him to run away from the scene.
“As soon as I was a bit far from the scene, I heard gunshots. Few minutes later, a white Toyota Hillux vehicle zoomed out of the hotel on high speed with men wearing army uniforms,” he said.
Meanwhile, the State Police Commissioner, Malam Lawal Shehu, said on Saturday  that one suspect had been arrested in connection with Friday’s attack on the hotel in Bauchi.
Briefing newsmen on the arrest made, Lawal said the suspect was being interrogated and efforts intensified to apprehend his accomplices that fled.
The commissioner said the number of victims of the attack had risen from 10 dead and 14 injured, to 11 dead and 28 injured.
He urged members of the public to be security conscious and observe happenings within their immediate environment.
The police boss said, “The general public should pay special attention to persons and objects, particularly at motor parks, market places, schools, places of worships, shopping malls, eateries and hotels.
“They should report any suspicious persons or objects within their neighbourhood, to the nearest police station for prompt response, using these numbers – 08151849417 and 07013490795.”
The Bauchi State Branch of the Nigerian Red Cross has condemned the attack, describing it as barbaric and inhuman.
The State’s Secretary, Malam Mohammed Bashir, told the NAN that they received a call around 9.50pm on Friday about the attack.
“Immediately I received the call, I and my men rushed to the scene to provide First Aid treatment to the victims. Afterwards, we, along with the State Emergency Management Agency, police, military and the SSS personnel, evacuated them to the hospital.
“We still carried out search and rescue operation at the scene this morning (Saturday) to ensure that every injured person was evacuated. It was a terrible experience,” Bashir said.

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