The Department of State Service (DSS) yesterday disclosed that it received security report of impending attacks on shopping malls and business concerns, two weeks before Wednesday’s bomb attack at Emab Plaza in Abuja.
Deputy Director of Press and Public Relations of the DSS, Marilyn Ogar, revealed that the secret service got wind of the planned attack, which prompted operatives to move from one shopping mall to the other, to try to forestall it.
“We had intelligence about two weeks ago, that a market or busy shopping plaza will be attacked in Abuja. “Our surveillance van goes around markets and busy plazas on daily basis. They were here till about 11p.m. on Wednesday observing and when they noticed that the security people on duty were actually enforcing our directives, they had to retreat,” she said.
Ogar said that the pro-active measures taken by the security assisted in preventing high casualty figure at the plaza. “As you all know that when the man came, he tried to penetrate the main entrance but was refused. As it was typical of them (the terrorists) they would want to beat traffic or beat security to come in through the other entrance.
“In a forceful bid to enter the plaza, the explosion occurred,” she said. She disclosed that among the injured at the incidence were two Turkish nationals. The DSS also said that the suspect, who “packaged” the ill-fated trip by 486 “travellers” to Port- Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, was arrested by security operatives in Bauchi State.
The suspect, she added, is being “taken straight” to Port Harcourt, perhaps for further investigation. She encouraged “Nigerians to continue to give us information that will help us stop these people.”
They were made to turn back. Spokesman of the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Tayo Hasstrup, yesterday confirmed the death of one of the victims of the Emab Plaza bombing.
Hasstrup told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the victim, a male, died on Wednesday night from severe burns he sustained in the explosion. “We had eight who were receiving treatment, and two of them were in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU),” he said. This brings the number of deaths from the bombing to 22. Family members of some of the victims were seen in the hospital yesterday enquiring after their loved ones. Some of the victims who were taken to Garki Hospital, Abuja, are said to be in stable conditions.
Dr. Joel Danjuma, Consultant, Accident and Emergency Unit, told NAN that the hospital was able to treat and discharge some of the victims at the emergency ward on Wednesday.
“Five of the victims were attended to as soon they arrived. Four victims with different types of injuries were discharged immediately after they received emergency treatment. One is still in the ICU and is being monitored. “The one at the intensive unit is very serious as both of her legs were cut off; she has burns all over her body, including her upper limbs.” Danjuma said that the hospital treated the patients without collecting any fees as directed by the Federal Government.
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