Thursday, July 24, 2014

Buhari narrowly escape death in Kaduna bomb blast

Two explosions ripped through parts of Kaduna State yesterday, killing at least 70 people.

The first explosion targeted a popular Islamic cleric, Dahiru Bauchi, while the second targeted a former Head of State, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Both men escaped unhurt in the blasts that forced the state government to impose a 24-hour curfew on the city.

Scores of people were injured and over 50 cars damaged in the incidents. The state police command put the death toll at 40 while the Federal Government, through the National Information Centre, said 14 people were injured.

Two of Buhari's bodyguards and an aide were among the wounded. His Toyota Prado jeep was also hit by a suspected bomber near the 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army in the Kawo area of Kaduna.

There were two accounts of how the bomber attacked the motorcade of Buhari, who is also one of the national leaders of the All Progressives Congress.

While one had it that the bomber, on sighting Buhari's convoy hauled explosives at it, the second claimed that the bomber rammed his Toyota Sienna into the motorcade.

An eyewitness, who gave his name simply as Idris said, "The suicide bomber hauled explosives at the convoy of the former Head of State but one of the cars in the convoy and a Toyota Prado conveying Buhari were hit.

"He was shielded into a Toyota Sienna that took him away from.the scene."

Another witness, who did not want his name in print, said the bomber rammed his vehicle into the convoy of the general, hitting his jeep and
others cars.

"In fact, a car in the convoy was badly damaged. Buhari escaped narrowly. We doubt if his security operatives escaped unhurt".

Bauchi had delivered a Ramadan lecture (Tafsir) at the Murtala Square and was driving through the area in an open-roofed vehicle, greeting well-wishers when his attacker struck.

Eyewitness said the lone bomber,who rode on a motorbike followed the convoy of the cleric after the lecture. He was said to have been blocked by security operatives who suspected him but he forced his way through the crowd and detonated his explosive.

Security operatives were seen conveying the wounded to a nearby hospital and the Nigerian Army Reference Hospital for treatment.

The security forces retaliated by firing tear gas canisters.

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