.Female suicide bomber strikes in Kano
Fourty eight victims of Sunday’s twin blast in Jos were buried yesterday as witnesses give shocking accounts of the deadly attack.
Also, the Plateau state government and a prominent Islamic cleric have appealed for calm after angry youth targeted two churches and shops in the area.
The bombers hit a popular restaurant and a mosque where the Ramadan Tafsir was holding at the time.
A witness, Hassan Ahmed who escaped with gunshot wounds, said two people came shooting randomly at the crowd of people outside the mosque.
He said they were apparently trying to make their way into the mosque which was full to capacity.
Ahmed, who is being treated of his wounds at the Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos, told Daily Trust yesterday said as far as he could recollect, a third person detonated a bomb before he could get to the preacher and presumed main target, Sheikh Yahaya Jingir.
He said: “These people came shooting at the people outside the mosque and others that they could reach inside the mosque.
“In the confusion some people tried to get up and escape while others lay down to avoid being shot. In the midst of all that I was shot in my left arm. I heard a loud explosion as I fell down.
“I later learnt that a third person detonated a bomb while already in the mosque but not yet within reach of the Sheikh, killing himself and people that were close to him.”
‘I heard ‘gboom’ and knew nothing else afterwards’
Umma Umar, one of the service girls at Shagalinku Restaurant where the first bomb blast occurred was not hurt but she was distraught.
She told Daily Trust, that she heard an explosion but that she remembered nothing afterwards.
“I must have fallen after the explosion but I can’t really remember anything that may have happened afterwards,” she said.
Irate youths torch two churches
Two churches within sight of the Yan Taya Mosque where the second of the twin bombs that rocked Jos Sunday night exploded were torched by irate youths.
Daily Trust gathered that the youths went on rampage and set ablaze the First African Church Mission in Nigeria on Adebayo Street and Cherubim and Seraphim Church around Dilimi. They are two closest churches to the scene of the gun and bomb attacks.
Unlike the Cherubim and Seraphim Church which suffered a minimal damage in the 2008 Jos crisis, the First African Church Mission in Nigeria had until Sunday stood as one of the churches in the Muslim neighbourhood of Jos North that had never been affected by any Jos crisis.
Two female suicide bombers responsible – Police
The Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Nasiru Oki while briefing reporters said the first blast at Shagalinku Restaurant was carried out by two women suicide bombers who walked into the restaurant and detonated their bombs.
He said the second blast that took place at the Izala Mosques at Yan Taya, off Bauchi Road, was coordinated by perpetuators who did most of their killings through shooting directed at the Tafsir congregation.
The Police Boss described the burning of two churches by irate youths after the incident as barbaric. He appealed to the people of Plateau to remain calm, assuring them that necessary security measures had been put in place by the Police to ensure the safety of lives and property.
The state-owned Plateau Specialist Hospital, to which most of the injured were taken, was overflowing with patients by yesterday morning.
Many of the injured lay on the floor in many hospitals wards as waiting hopelessly for medical attention.
Both the state government and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), put the death toll at 44 and the injured at 47.
North Central Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Malam Mohammed Abdulsalam, told Daily Trust the agency was making plans to transfer some of the injured to hospitals that had space.
Our correspondent who attended the funeral prayers for the deceased counted 48 corpses.
Daily Trust learnt from other sources that some of the people who died at the Shagalinku Restaurant blast on Bauchi Road were Christians whose corpses had been carried away by their relatives and could not have been among the 48 whose funeral prayers were led by Sheikh Yahaya Jingir.
Lalong directs snap checkpoints around Jos
The Plateau State government has directed security operatives in the state to immediately mount snap check points at appropriate areas following the twin explosion.
Governor Simon Bako Lalong said in a statement mailed to journalists by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Samuel Emmanuel Nanle yesterday that the gunshots and multiple explosions were unfortunate, saying the snap checkpoints were meant to address peculiar security situations in the state.
The statement further directed all medical institutions in the state to respond to medical situations at government expense. If appealed to all voluntary aid groups to provide the needed First Aid assistance to the injured.
Lalong called on all inhabitants of Jos North and all the citizens of the state to remain calm, adding that the attacks were regrettable especially at a time when Muslim faithful were settled to the fulfillment of a religious obligation.
“Agents of death, chaos and anarchy have chosen to disrupt the peace of the state by orchestrating a spate of sporadic bomb blasts to portray a state of dissatisfaction that pitches otherwise peaceful cohabitants against themselves,” Lalong stated.
While commiserating with all the victims, the governor urged citizens of the State to stand in solidarity with one another “in the face of this onslaught by agents of death on our collective resolve to remain as one united people in spite of ethnic and religious difference.”
Jingir calls for calm
The National Chairman of Council of Ulama of Jama’atul Izalatul Bidi’a Wa Ikamatus Sunnah (JIBWIS), Sheikh Sani Yahaya Jingir whose Tafsir congregation in Jos was attacked in one of Sunday night twin bomb incidents, has called on all Muslims to remain calm and not to engage in any form of reprisal.
Jingir who spoke to newsmen yesterday in Jos shortly before leading a mass funeral prayer for 48 corpses that resulted from the multiple bomb blasts of Sunday night, said the ‘evil-minded people’ had struck again against innocent souls.
Jingir said, “Terrorists launched another heinous work yesterday (Sunday evening) while we were conducting Tafsir. They began with sporadic gunshots on the people outside the mosque, including children who were in their hundreds gathered listening to the Tafsir. Later, one of the gunmen exploded the bomb he was carrying.
“Almighty Allah did not give them the opportunity to enter the mosque because of the security consciousness of the people and which halted their advance into the mosque and also helped in reducing the casualty. The attack was very painful because the casualties were in the process of worshiping and learning the meaning of Holy Quran aimed at making them responsible members of the society. The attack was sad most especially when the nature of killing innocent people in the country has continued unabated”.
Jingir called on leaders at all levels to sit up and discharge their responsibilities with fear of God especially those at the helm of government and security agencies, adding, “Security operatives should double their efforts in surveillance and other segments in halting the menace and fishing out bad eggs among them so that the suspicious of complicity can be taken care of. Security is everybody’s business, something must be done to strengthen the relationship between the general public and security agencies and build synergy that will widen the scope of fighting our common enemy. We must all join hands against terrorism.”
When asked whether he felt he was the main target of the attack, Jingir said, “Well, I might likely be their main target but I believe the attack was targeted at the entire society to destroy the fabric of cohesion, harmony and peaceful coexistence of the whole country. This attack will not deter us from our legitimate cause of preaching the gospel of peace and true teaching of Islam. We will continue to preach against all forms of terrorism and its ramifications”.