Sunday, December 23, 2012

Two Suicide Bombers Die In Kano Telecom Blast

Two suicide bombers yesterday lost their lives in separate attempts to bomb mobile phone facilities belonging to Airtel and MTN in the merchant city of Kano.

One eyewitness said one of the suspected suicide bombers was seen at 8 a.m. attempting to park his car rigged with explosives at Mallam Kato Square, where the Airtel office was located. Unknown to the suicide bomber, he was being closely monitored by security operatives patrolling the area. Alert security officers shot and instantly killed him as he made a desperate attempt to smash his vehicle into the mobile phone carrier’s office.

Moments after the suicide bomber was shot dead, his primed vehicle reportedly exploded, with the impact causing damage to Airtel’s reception area as well as three vehicles parked near the premises.
Within fifteen minutes of the explosion, more security operatives arrived at the scene and cordoned off the entire area, barring the free-flow of pedestrian and vehicular movement within the vicinity. The situation forced some businesses to close shop.

News of the explosion spread across the city, causing panic and fear among residents, some of whom ran to the safety of their homes. The incident led to increased street patrols by operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF). Some of the task force members patrolled with armored tanks as others mounted emergency check points at strategic spots, particularly in Sabon Gari and Burma Road.

In the midst of that heightened alert, the city witnessed another futile suicide bombing, this time targeted at the MTN Switch at the industrial area of Bompai, around Maimalari road. The suicide bomber, who rode on a motorbike, reportedly rammed his primed motorbike onto the MTN fence. The motorbike exploded on impact, killing the suicide bomber on the spot before he could hit the target.

A top security source in Kano confirmed both incidents as suicide bomb plots. “Yes, soldiers shot and killed the suicide bomber at Airtel office before the bomb he was carrying exploded, while the other suicide bomber attempting to bomb MTN office hit a pole near the MTN office, causing his bomb to explode and kill him instantly,” said the source.  He added that only the two suicide bombers were known to have lost their lives.

JTF spokesman, Lieutenant Ikedichi Iweha, also confirmed the incidents. He stressed that operatives of the task force were in firm control of the situation, adding that city residents were going about their business without molestation.

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