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Scores killed as suicide bombers attack church in Jos

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From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos



No fewer than 10 people were yesterday feared dead in Jos, Plateau state when two suicide bombers, dressed in army uniforms forced their way into the compound of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) headquarters, killing two women, and a baby.

The blast, which occurred at about 7:30am while the first Sunday service was on, also left two suicide bombers dead while five motorcycle riders were killed by irate youths in a reprisal attack at Hill Station Hotel junction and Abattoir area.

Over 30 cars had their windscreens shattered by the bomb within and around the church premises.

A nurse, Esther Gowtts confirmed to our correspondent that 38 causalities were brought to Plateau Specialist Hospital while some people were also receiving treatment at the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH).

Among the 38 causalities receiving treatment were the former Secretary to the state government, Nde Ezekiel Gomos and the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Yiljap Abraham who was mobbed by irate youths while trying to shield the soldier who allegedly opened the gate for the bombers, from being lynched, had to be admitted in hospital for treatment, yesterday.

The said soldier whose identity was not disclosed was accused of aiding the suicide bombers to gain entrance to the church after the church security men had truncated the move. The soldier is also being treated at an undisclosed hospital and has been placed under arrest by the military command.

Former governor of the state, Senator Joshua Dariye who visited the church was visibly moved to tears but could not alter a word.

Peoples Daily gathered authoritatively that the first civilian governor of the state and pioneer National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Solomon Lar as well as Governor Jonah Jang both worship at the COCIN headquarters.

However, Governor Jonah Jang who visited the scene of the attack, said he was not surprised that the church was targeted because he worships there.

The impact of the explosion shattered the body of one of the bomber into pieces and littered the compound, while the second person jumped out of the car, but was lynched by irate youths in the compound.

Also destroyed was the newly constructed multi-million naira building of the COCIN church.

The irate youths took to the streets of Jos and were burning tires and daring anyone who made attempts to challenge them the, as they claimed that those whose properties were touched must have given the suicide bombers direction to the church.

Meanwhile, the Plateau state government condemned the blast and called for calm.


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