UPDATE: At least 35 people were killed on Monday when Nigerian soldiers opened fire after a bomb blast struck their convoy in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, nurses at the hospital that received the bodies said.
The nurses in the Umaru Shehu hospital said 30 of the dead were in civilian clothes, while another five wore military uniforms. Militants of the Boko Haram Islamist sect, headquartered in Maiduguri, sometimes wear civilian clothes, Reuters reports.
Borno state security spokesman Sagir Musa said he could not confirm or deny the casualty toll, but he admitted troops had opened fire after a bomb they suspected to be remotely detonated wounded two of them in a patrol. He said the military would give a statement on Wednesday morning.
Nigerian soldiers indiscriminately fired on residents of Maiduguri, killing several believed to be civilians, after a bomb blast targeted an army patrol, eyewitnesses said.
“Initially, soldiers that came after the explosion harassed residents, whipping them… but later they went on a shooting spree,” said one Maiduguri resident, who spoke of about 30 dead. Another resident said troops were “shooting everybody in sight” but did not estimate the death toll.
AP journalist counted more than 30 civilian corpses while on a tour of the still-smoldering Maiduguri neighborhood after military men attacked the city.
A soldier nearby claimed the attack was a response to a bombing nearby earlier Monday that he said killed a lieutenant.
Details to come…