Nigeria: Five Killed As Gunmen, Suicide Bomber Attack Churches in Borno, Plateau
Tension in Borno State
Jos — Gunmen, yesterday, attacked two churches in Jos and Biu town in Borno State, killing five people and injuring several others.
In Jos, a suicide bomb attack on a church left the suicide bomber and two others dead.
Several others have been hospitalised at the Plateau Specialist Hospital and Bingham University Teaching Hospital as a result of injuries from the blast. Others had gunshot wounds.
A yet to be ascertained number were also lynched by an irate mob protesting the bomb attack at Christ Chosen Church located along Rukuba Road.
The suicide bomber, according to eye witnesses, drove a Volkswagen Vento car with number plate Bauchi AJ413BAU into the church premises at about 11a.m and rushed out of the car shortly after which there was a huge explosion which brought down the church building.
It was learnt that nobody died in the church as a result of the blast because only a few people who stayed back for a meeting were still in the church at the time of the incident.
The bomber was said to have diverted to the church which is not fenced after attempts to gain entry into some of the bigger churches in the area failed because of the security barricades in place.
It was alleged that like what happened during the attack on the COCIN Headquarters Church, the suicide bomber drove closely behind a military van before turning off the Rukuba Barracks Road into the church which is several metres away from the major road.
Following the blast, irate youths took over the road attacking commercial motorcyclists and others in apparent reprisals. Unconfirmed report said at least seven people were said to have been killed in such attacks.
However, our correspondent sighted about four charred bodies of those believed to have been victims of reprisals in different places. The irate mob harassed security men and journalists preventing them from going to the venue.
The windshield of the NTA crew which was heading for the scene was smashed as the mob expressed anti-government and anti-security forces sentiments.
The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Emmanuel Ayeni, while confirming the incident said only the suicide bomber died at the church while the two others died from the riot that broke out in the aftermath of the blast. The suicide bomber was said to have been torn apart by the blast.
He said four vehicles and a motorcycle were damaged in the blast but regretted that the reaction by angry youth slowed down rescue operations.
It's saddening -Plateau govt
The Plateau State government has, meanwhile, described the blast as saddening despite efforts put in place to prevent such attacks.
It said the incident coming after a period of calm in the state was an indication that the security measures put in place were working and appealed to the people to remain calm and not to do anything capable of heightening the tension.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Abraham Yiljap, spoke on behalf of the state government.
The police commissioner confirmed that 41 people were injured.
Contrary to initial claims, some of the church members receiving treatment at the Bingham University Teaching Hospital told journalists that they had just finished prayers and the sermon was about to commence when the car drove into the premises at top speed and rammed into one of the pillars.
Gunmen kill 2 in Biu church attack
In Biu Local Government Area of Borno State, gunmen attacked EYN Church in Tabra ward where they killed two worshippers, while others were seriously injured and were taken to Gombe State where they are receiving treatment at the Gombe Medical Centre
Our correspondent gathered the incident occurred at exactly 9 a.m. when the gunmen opened fire on the congregation before they fled without being arrested.
A Pastor in the church who did not want his name in print said: "I am also a pastor in Biu and I called my colleagues who confirmed that, some gunmen attacked EYN Church during Sunday Service this morning (yesterday), shooting sporadically, which led to the killing of two worshippers and injuring many who were rushed to Gombe Medical Centre for treatment."
A member of the church in Biu, said: "Yes, gunmen attacked our church today. Two people were confirmed dead while several others were injured. I am very happy and thank God that I was some few metres away to the church when I heard the gunshots and I had to make a u-turn."
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