Bloody Sunday in Jos, Yobe

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Damages caused by the Jos bomb blast

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Boko Haram insurgents intensify their suicide attacks as they hit a church in Yobe, Yobe State and mosque in Jos, Plateau State, killing a number of worshippers

IT WAS a bloody Sunday, July 5, as Boko Haram insurgents hit Yobe and Jos, capitals of cities of Yobe and Plateau states, respectively in devastating suicide attacks. Number of casualties remained unstable. The attacked on Jos attack was in the evening when a twin explosion rocked the city.

There were conflicting reports on the number of casualties. Some said seven persons were killed but another report claimed nine. Nevertheless, an eye witness said the first explosion went off at about 9:15pm at a Bauchi Road shopping complex, a few meters to the Bauchi Park and the University of Jos while the second explosion occurred less than five minutes after. The said explosion went off at a popular food seller’s shop known as Hajiya Talatu.

The second explosion was said to have occurred close to the popular Yan Taya mosque during prayers. A resident of the city said: “Twin bomb blasts occurred in Jos North LGA killing several people even though casualty figure is not yet ascertained.” The witness reported that victims were seen being conveyed to hospitals in private vehicles.

Earlier in the say, a suicide bomber blew himself up, inside a church in Potiskum, Yobe State killing five worshippers, including a pastor. The bomber reportedly entered the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, located on the outskirts of the city and detonated his explosives at about 9:55 am. “Four worshippers died instantly while the fifth victim gave up shortly after she was taken to hospital,” a police officer involved in the evacuation told AFP.

“The victims included a woman and her two children, the pastor and another worshipper,” added the officer who spoke on condition of anonymity. An eye witness, Garba Manu, told AFP: “The bomber arrived on a motorised rickshaw and as soon as he entered, a loud explosion ripped through the church which is under construction. I saw him walking in and he didn’t raise any suspicion. The dismembered body of the bomber was also recovered.”

It will be recalled that Potiskum last suffered a twin suicide attack on June 15, in which 10 people were killed and several others injured. The insurgents have launched a series of attacks on mosques, villages and markets in neighbouring Borno State in the past few days, claiming more than 200 lives.

The use of improvised explosive devices and suicide bombings have increased since May 29 when President Muhammadu Buhari took office vowing to crush the rebellion. According to the AFP, at least 450 people have since been killed.

Meanwhile, former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged Nigerians to support President Buhari in tackling the Boko Haram insurgents in the country. Jonathan lamented the continuous attacks of the terrorists in the country. He said: “The death of any Nigerian at the hands of terrorists is a sad reminder that the war on terror is a task for all Nigerians not just the armed forces,” he posted on his Facebook account to his almost two million followers. He also urged Nigerians to continue to pray for peace in the country and support the government of Buhari in taming the acts of terror.

“I urge all Nigerians to continue to pray for peace in Nigeria and to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as the government does its best to bring an end to these acts of terror and secure all Nigerians. May God bless Nigeria,” Jonathan added.

On his part, President Buhari expressed sadness over the reported dastardly bomb attack at a church on the outskirts of Potiskum, Yobe, on Sunday. In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by Femi Adesina, president’s special adviser on media and publicity, Buhari deeply regreted the unfortunate loss of lives in the attack and commiserated with all those who lost loved ones in the incident which also caused needless injury to others and damage to the church building.

“The President wholly condemns the resumption of attacks by terrorists on places of worship– which are highly revered places of prayer and communion with God for most Nigerians.

“Nigerians are a very religious people and President Buhari believes that the terrorists who wantonly attack our places of worship have wilfully declared war on all that we value, and must, therefore, be confronted with all our might and collective resolve,’’ the statement said.

The president reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to doing everything possible to eradicate Boko Haram, terrorism and mindless extremism from Nigeria in the shortest possible time.

He also assured Nigerians that terrorism would ultimately be defeated and full security restored in all parts of the country for people to safely practice their respective faiths with liberty wherever they may reside in the nation.

— Jul 6, 2015 @ 13:10 GMT

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