Monday, June 4, 2012

Nigeria: Suicide Bombers Kill 15, Injure 43 in Bauchi Churches

No fewer than 15 people were killed and over 42 seriously injured yesterday after a bomb blast which occurred at the Harvest Field Church of Christ in Yelwa area of Bauchi metropolis in Bauchi State.

Confirming the incident, the chairman of the state emergency operation team, Muhanad Inuwa Bello, told LEADERSHIP that the explosion happened at about 9:15 in the morning.

He said the injured victims were taken to Abubakar Tafawa Ballewa Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH) for medical attention, while the dead bodies had been deposited in the mortuary.

According to him, no one has claimed responsibility, but it is suspected that the suspect died while planting the explosive.

A suicide bomber riding in a Honda Civic car was said to have attempted to force his way into Living Faith Church, Yelwa, hitting a barricade.

The commissioner said: "A lone suicide bomber in a Honda Civic attempted to force his way into the iron barricade at the entrance of Living Faith Church, Ungwan Angas, Yelwa, Bauchi, but was denied entry.

Recounting the incident in an interview with NAN, a Living Faith Church pastor, Mr. Johnson Elogu, said the suicide bomber forced his car into a group of worshippers.

He said: "At about 9.20 in the morning when those who attended the first service came out of the church, we heard a blast that shook the entire church building.

"People started running helter-skelter for their lives. I managed to come out only to discover that it was a case of suicide bombing.

"Several persons died while others were seriously injured and had been taken to the hospital."

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday asked Nigerians not to despair in the face of the continuing gruesome murder of innocent Nigerians by terrorist groups in bomb attacks like the one launched on a church in Bauchi State.

Presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, in a statement quoted the president as appealing to all Nigerians, especially those who occupy leadership positions, to fully support the federal government and security services in the fight against terrorism.

Jonathan said he believed strongly that no patriotic Nigerian should stand aloof while enemies of the nation wage a wicked war against innocent citizens.

The statement made available to LEADERSHIP reads in part: "President Jonathan conveys sincerest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the bombing and has directed federal medical and emergency services to do everything possible to assist the survivors.

"While the recurrence of a heinous attack on a place of worship is most regrettable, the president urges Nigerians not to be disheartened by it.

"Rather, he urges Nigerians and friends of the country to be comforted by the knowledge that the significant reduction in the frequency of such attacks in recent weeks is a clear indication of the increasing effectiveness of measures that have been put in place by the security services to combat the evil of terrorism.

"President Jonathan assures Nigerians that the armed forces and security services will continue to implement proactive counter-terrorism measures and intensify efforts to totally eradicate the scourge of mindless terrorism from the country."

In the same vein, the Bauchi State government has condemned the attack on the church, describing it as callous.

Chief press secretary to Governor Isa Yuguda, Mr. Ishola Michael, said such act was not in the best interest of the state and the country.

He said the government received the news of the incident with shock and disbelief, noting that the perpetrators were cowards.

He urged all those with grievances to embrace dialogue, stressing the need for people to embrace peace.

from allAfrica
Leadership (Abuja)

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