At least two persons were killed and many injured in an explosion that occurred during an annual festival in the Idoji area of Okene, Kogi state.
The explosion occurred near the Idoji market on Thursday evening during the Echane festival.
A resident of Okene told TheCable that one person was killed and many others sustained injuries.
TheCable also obtained gory pictures showing varying degrees of injuries suffered by residents.
On Saturday, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the attack, alleging that 20 people were killed.
POLICE COMMENCE INVESTIGATION
William Ovye-Aya, the Kogi police spokesperson, confirmed the incident but said only one person was killed and several others injured.
The police spokesperson said security operatives have been mobilised to the scene to look into the incident.
“It was an explosion. One person died and 12 people got injured. We have commenced an investigation,” he said.
Asked to react to the claim made by ISIS, the police spokesperson said the command is waiting for the outcome of the investigation by its anti-bomb unit.
STATE GOVERNMENT REACTS
Jerry Omodara, special adviser on security to Yahaya Bello, Kogi governor, said two persons have died as a result of the explosion.
Omodara said security experts have been deployed to the scene to investigate the “pattern of explosion”.
“It is an unfortunate incident and the Kogi state government will not toy away with the security of residents’ lives and properties. Immediately the incident happened, security experts were brought in to get to the root of the incident,” he said.
“Experts are trying to analyse if it is the same pattern of explosion with the incident that happened in Kabba some days ago.
“Immediately the incident happened, there was no death recorded but at the hospital, I heard that two people have died now and several people were injured.”
Omodara said ISIS’ claim of orchestrating the explosion is yet to be proven.
“Well, if they had made a claim about the attack, I have not gotten the report. At the end of the day, I will get update on the security situation,” he added.
“Sometimes, claims are made to swell up their own prowess of attacks. In many cases, they are not always true.”
On April 23, gunmen attacked a police station in Adavi LGA in the state, which resulted in the death of three police officers.
Some days later, the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility for the attack.
On May 11, there was an explosion at a bar in Lewu Junction area of Kabba town, Kogi.
Two weeks later, another explosion occurred at a bar in Kabba town, Kabbah-Bunu LGA.