At least 19 people were killed and more than 40 others wounded on Monday when a female suicide bomber detonated explosives at Dukku motor park in Gombe, Gombe State.
The bomber was said to have disguised herself as a passenger with the lethal weapon hidden in a sack, which she used in deceiving other passengers at the park.
Eyewitnesses said the incident happened at about 10.50am when the park was said to be filled with passengers, who were eager to travel out of the state capital to their respective destinations for the Yuletide.
The female bomber was said to have detonated the explosives on her near a Sharoon bus that was already filled with passengers.
“The bomber chose her target carefully because she timed when the bus was fully loaded with passengers. It appeared she was standing by and observing before carrying out her nefarious act,” an eyewitness said.
Two buses were completely burnt, while majority of the victims were said to be hawkers and passengers.
One of the visitors to the park believed the bomber would not have succeeded if there had been serious screening at the gate.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state command, Fwaji Atajiri, confirmed the incident.
He said 19 people died while 25 were injured, adding that the police had already condoned off the area.
The police spokesman said the casualties had been taken to mortuary, adding that the injured were being treated at the Gombe Specialist Hospital.
Atajiri called on the general public to assist security agencies by ensuring that they report suspicious movements in their midst.
Our earlier story
At least 15 persons died following a bomb blast which ripped through the popular Dukku Motor Park in the Gombe State capital, Gombe.
Over 50 other people sustained various degrees of injuries from the incident, which happened Monday morning.
The bodies of the affected had been deposited at both Gombe State Specialist Hospital and Federal Teaching Hospital while those who sustained injuries were taken to both private and government owned hospitals within the state capital for treatment.
Red Cross officials however claimed that only confirm 12 people died in the blast.
Meanwhile, the police showed a high level of restraint when angry youths initially prevented security and emergency officials from reaching the scene.
Efforts to get comments from Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Fwaje Atajiri, proved abortive as his mobile phone was switched off.
A journalist based in the state, Mallam Tildee, had told our correspondent earlier that the blast occurred at Dukku Motor Park early Monday.
Tildee said he was on his way to the scene of the blast and would be able to give casualty figure later.
A similar blast had occurred in November at the Gombe line motor park, killing scores of commuters, drivers and traders.