A suicide bomber today afternoon detonated an improvised explosive device at the Christ Chosen Church, Rukuba road in Jos North local council of Plateau State. Three persons alongside the suicide bomber died immediately.
The vehicle that the suicide bomber drove to the scene of the crime was also damaged beyond recognition.
The church situated near the barracks of the Nigerian Army in the area collapsed from the impact of the explosive. Irate indigenous youths mobilized and staged reprisal attacks killing eight commercial motor-cyclists believed to be Hausa men.
Even when soldiers and policemen attempted to gain access to the blast site, the irate youths barricaded the roads, chanting anti-military slogans.
The soldiers shot their way to the scene. However as they shot into the air, the youths responded with stones to register their protest. It is not clear whether the military bullets hit any of the protesters.
A youth at the scene said: “It is the soldiers that are causing this thing so that they will continue to remain in Jos and milk the meager resources of the state. Let them go. We don’t want them. Enough is enough. Soldiers have not helped the situation at all. Rather, they are compounding it”.
The blast took place at about 11.15am, when the morning service was drawing to a close. Other churches around the area. Such churches included Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), Assemblies of God Church and Church of Eternal Life, all very close together.
On the way to the scene which had been cordoned off by the security operatives, this reporter counted eight commercial motorcyclists roasted to death with their motorcycles. They were killed as a reprisal attacks by the irate youths who believed they were Muslims.
Spokesman of the Plateau State Police Command, DSP Abuh Emmanuel, said at about 11.am, “a suicide bomber went to attack the Christ Chosen Church at Rukuba Road, Jos. While on their way, the church is very close to the main road, the bomb exploded and killed the suicide bomber.
“The suicide bomber had not reached the church proper before it exploded killing the suicide bomber. The intensity of the bomb with its heavy vibration of the explosion caused the church to collapse. The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Emmanurl Ayeni, led a team of police operatives to the scene.”
The police Spokesman, 37 out of the 41 injured, had been taken to the Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos for treatment while four were taken to Plateau State Specialist Hospital where they are all receiving treatment. He added that four other vehicles were burnt. “Two persons were killed very close to the church in a circumstance yet to be ascertained by the police.”
At Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos, where the majority of the injured were taken to, it was blood, blood everywhere and reporters were shut out. The doctors there said that nobody was welcomed except he wanted donate blood to the victims.
One of the badly wounded, on Sunday was Mr. Sunday Mshelia, an evangelist of ECWA, went for a visit unconventionally started to pray for the victims also admitted in the Hospital, having gained more health. He was wounded in the head but not yet discharged