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MULTIPLE BOMB BLASTS ROCK RESIDENTIAL AREA IN BENIN

BOMB-BLAST-CV-2-310x165-300x160Multiple explosions destroyed four residential buildings on Tuesday in parts of Benin City, capital of Edo state.

It was gathered that the first explosion occurred at about 3pm around Oka primary school area, close to the junction popularly known as ‘three house’, off Upper Sakponba road in Ikpoba-Okha local government area of the state, when a patent medicine dealer, Elue Chinedu, who operated from one of the buildings, was burning the refuse he swept from the building at a refuse dump.

‎Musa Uba the leader of the Edo state anti-bomb squad, a deputy commissioner of police, and anti riot policemen were said to have been promptly drafted to the place to secure and barricade the area.

Another deafening explosion however went off at about 6.16pm, when the anti-bomb squad was trying to detonate other explosives discovered.

Louvre blades, PVC ceilings, doors, aluminum roofing sheets, bore hole rubber tanks and part of the front perimeter fence of the buildings were shattered.

This development heightened tension and anxiety in the entire area as people scampered in different directions for safety as the people apparently suspected that men of the dreaded Boko Haram were responsible for the blasts.

One of the occupants of one of the affected buildings and a woman who was passing by were said to have sustained serious injuries from the explosion, but no life was lost.

It was gathered that suspected kidnappers had lived in one of the buildings in the past, but left the house two years ago when security operatives raided the area.

A 70-year-old woman, Hannah Francis, who lives directly oppose the scene of the explosion, said she heard a deafening sound and had come out to find out what happened, only to see a thick, dark smoke from the building.

Narrating his ordeal, the patient medicine dealer, Elue Chinedu, said he rented the entire building about nine months ago.

He disclosed that after an electrician carried out some minor repairs in his living room, he decided to sweep and burn the refuse at a nearby refuse dump.

“An electrician came to work in the house and I said let me use the opportunity to clean the compound. I gathered the waste papers together and wanted to burn it. As I was burning the papers, I said let me go and buy ice cream. That was when the thing exploded and I sustained some injuries,” he said.

A police source at the scene informed Vanguard that, ” we learnt that the bungalow where the bomb was detonated was being used as a hide out by kidnappers some months ago.

But a combined unit of soldiers and the police invaded the house and arrested the suspects.

“So recently, somebody hired the building and just this afternoon, decided to burn some papers in the compound. He set the papers on fire and went out to buy something.

But immediately he left the bomb exploded. He never knew that the kidnappers left some bombs in the house”.

According to Vanguard, Bomb Disposal experts from the Edo state police command have cordoned off the building to ascertain if there are more explosives in the building.

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