There is palpable tension in the Galadima Kogo, Shiroro Local Government Area (LGA) of Niger State following reports of a bomb explosion.
Residents in the community were said to have sent multiple distress signals over the incident.
A security analyst identified as @secmxx disclosed the information via his Twitter handle, stating an unspecified number of residents are currently feared dead and injured.
THE WHISTLER traced Facebook accounts of individuals residing in the state to confirm the reports, and two accounts were found.
A Facebook user, Massanja Danlami, wrote: “Shiroro Local Government on Fire especially Galkogo community need our prayers. Many lives have lost (sic). Oh Allah protect us”.
Another user, Beli Abubakar Nasiru, wrote: “Innalillahi Wa innailaihirrajiun. Reports coming in, from the Bomb blast that occurred today in Galadima Galkogo in Shiroro LGA is not good at all a lot of casualties. Ya Allah has mercy on us”.
THE WHISTLER further contacted the state’s police spokesperson, Wasiu Abiodun who declined comment on the incident but asked the reporter to speak to the State’s Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Emmanuel Umar.
Umar in a phone conversation with THE WHISTLER confirmed an attack had occurred in the community but debunked the report of an explosion. He also did not state the nature of the incident and when it occurred.
He said, “There is an attack that happened, and I am in the middle of an emergency now, but get it correctly, it is not an explosion, but we are trying to find out what truly happened”.
Umar noted that details of the incident would be communicated shortly.
‘Far Too Many Casualties’
A senior officer of the Nigeria Police Force, however confirmed the explosion.
The officer told THE WHISTLER, it was an airstrike by a Nigeria Airforce Fighter aircraft, but could not state precisely, the nature of the airstrike.
‘I have been able to confirm the bomb explosion. It is an airstrike from the Nigeria Airforce Fighter jet, but we are still trying to get more details about the incident,” the source said.
Eyewitnesses further told this website that they heard a loud noise, like a blast, but cannot verify the details of the incident.
THE WHISTLER gathered that the air strike was targeted at the local vigilantes called “Yan Sa Kai” in the area.
“We are yet to know whether the airstrike was done by the authorities or bandits because the vigilantes were moving in large groups in the forest, so they might think they are bandits and launch a strike on them,” a source residing in Shiroro powerhouse, about 10 minutes drive away from Galadima Kogo community revealed.
Nasiru further told our correspondent that “evacuation, rescuing and assessment operation by security operatives are still on”.
Nasiru quoted eyewitness accounts as saying, “Three white Hilux cars that just passed me as it was 4 p.m (sic). At least five bodies are packed into each of them.
“Another set ambulance has just passed, seemingly carrying injured people, which confirms that there are far too many casualties”.
THE WHISTLER contacted the Airforce Spokesperson, Captain Wapkerem Maigida who said, he was not aware of the incident. He asked for time to confirm and revert.
(THE WHISTLER contacted relevant sources, and updated this report to reflect new development)