Jos Twin Bomb Blast: Death Toll Rises To 44

Shagalinku restaurant was attacked as some Muslims gathered to break their fast (Photo: BBC)
Shagalinku restaurant was attacked as some Muslims gathered to break their fast (Photo: BBC)

 

By Prince Charles Dickson

The death toll from the two bomb blasts in Jos, Plateau State capital in north central Nigeria, has risen to 44, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has confirmed. There also 67 people receiving treatment for various injuries.

A restaurant and a mosque were targeted on Sunday night, as Muslim faithful broke their fast. The attack on the restaurant, situated in Shagalinku area, along Bauchi-Jos road, left 23 people dead, while 21 people died from the attack on the mosque, where the imam, Muhammad Sani Yahaya Jingir, delivered his message.

Shortly after the attack on the mosque, scores of irate Muslim youths set ablaze a Cherubim and Seraphim Church in the area, while also vandalizing shops
A witness of the attack on the mosque, Ali Maina, told our correspondent in Jos: “I was outside the mosque, Sheikh was already preaching, and I saw about three vehicles coming from different directions and they were firing gunshots from all angles and then they throw a bomb into the mosque.”

Jingir, who has been a critic of Boko Haram since 2013 and had previously escaped an assassination attempt in his home, was believed to likely be the target of the mosque attack.

The sheikh in an exclusive interview hours after the blast, told our correspondent: “I know I was the target. It is a mosque that I do the Al’Qur’ani Tafsir (Ramadan preaching) in every day during Ramadan.”

The incident at the restaurant occurred, according to some accounts, when two female suicide bombers entered the popular eatery and detonated improvised explosive devices strapped to their bodies, while the mosque was attacked by a suicide bomber and that explosion was preceded by a gun attack.

A witness at Shagalinku, scene of the second blast, Adamu Kanke, told the icirnigeri.org that he narrowly escaped death.

“I had gone to the restaurant to buy food, having broken fast. I had barely left when the blast occurred,” he said. “Apparently the suicide bomber ran into the crowded restaurant.”

The blasts are the latest in the series of deadly attacks carried out by suspected members of Boko Haram in recent days, which have seen more than 300 people killed.

Jos has seen several attacks blamed on Boko Haram, including an incident in February that left at least 15 dead and in December last year where more than 30 people lost their lives.






     

     

    The United States vowed on Sunday to support Nigeria in the wake of a series of deadly attacks by the insurgents.

    “The United States strongly condemns the recent attacks in northeastern Nigeria inflicted by Boko Haram,” state department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

    “We will continue to support Nigeria’s efforts to bring those responsible for these attacks, as well as previous attacks, to justice,” he added in offering condolences to the families of the victims.

    President Muhammadu Buhari will be guest to the American President, Barrack Obama, later this month and Boko Haram is expected to be high on the list of issues to be discussed.

     

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