How Security Man Saved Worshippers From Bomb Blast In Jos | Independent Newspapers Limited
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How Security Man Saved Worshippers From Bomb Blast In Jos

Posted: Jul 13, 2015 at 12:03 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Onoja Audu (Jos) and Daniel Abia (P/Harcourt)

Barely one week after twin explosions that killed 44 and injured 47, according to official sources, hundreds of worshippers on Sunday cheated death in Jos, Plateau State, when another explosion occurred at Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), in Tudunwa, Angwan Yashi, near the Federal Secretariat in the state capital around 11a.m., while the church was filled to capacity.

vllkytaHR0cDovL2kuY2RubmFpai5jb20vby85dWJ4YTJYZFpGV0VNeE9MZkdkbGVMM0IuanBn.prx_.dda2b6dd-710x434The timely intervention of a security guard who noticed the bomb placed few metres away from the church premises saved the day, as he grabbed and quickly flung it afar, before it went off.

An eye-witness who resides near the church told Daily Independent that the noise from the explosion was very loud, adding that no life was lost.

‘’The guard picked the bomb and threw it off the church before it exploded instantly. No one was killed from the explosion, although the guard was injured on the leg and was being treated,” a worshipper told our correspondent.

Another witness who craved anonymity explained that the Police Anti-bomb Squad, on arrival at the scene, however discovered another explosive device planted at the church’s restroom.

Police spokesperson in the state, DSP Abuh Emmanuel, told newsmen that the anti-bomb experts were deployed “there immediately to ascertain the extent of damage.”

Confirming the incidence also, spokesman of the Special Task Force (STF), Capt. Ikedichi Iweha, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the one in the toilet was defused and taken away by security agents, while the other was controlled before it exploded.

“There is no casualty and the place has been cleaned up by our security men. Church service is still in session as I speak to you,” he said.

Security personnel immediately cordoned off all routes around the area.

In another development, a bomber blew himself up near the state security office in Maiduguri on Saturday, killing at least one person and injuring four, security sources said.

Suspected Boko Haram fighters also raided the Nigerien town of Ngamdu on Friday, opening fire on residents and killing 10 people.

Also, suspected Boko Haram militants launched an attack on the prison in the southern Niger town of Diffa late on Saturday, in an apparent bid to free sect members held there, military sources said.

Three of the assailants and one soldier were killed before the attack was repelled, the sources told Reuters.

“When the attack was repelled, the assailants fled, probably back into the town. We are searching for them,” one military source said.

Another military source said the attackers could be residents of Diffa, as no one saw them when they entered the town.

In another development, a man dressed in a woman’s burqa blew himself up in the main market in Chad’s capital N’Djamena early on Saturday, killing 15 people and injuring 80, a police spokesman said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but Chad has blamed Boko Haram, for a series of bombings and shootings in recent weeks.

Police Spokesman, Paul Manga, said 16 people including the bomber had died. Separately, police sources reported a second explosion about 30 kilometres north of N’Djamena that killed one person.

A Reuters’ witness saw at least 10 bodies covered in blankets, lying near the southern entrance to the marketplace next to overturned cartons and scattered vegetables.

Security forces cordoned off the area to stop people entering and searched stalls for more explosives.

Several witnesses said the bomber had tried to enter the market wearing a woman›s burqa.

Chad authorities banned the head-to-toe religious garment last month, citing the risk that attackers could use it as a disguise or hide explosives underneath.

“The suicide bomber was a man disguised as a woman (in a burqa). He tried to enter the market when he was intercepted by police. That is when he exploded the bomb,” Manga said.

Residents said the explosion happened at around 0830 local time (0730 GMT), during a busy period before the midday heat.

“It is terrible to live through such things during the holy month of Ramadan and right next to the main mosque of N’Djamena,” Abubakar, a resident who had come to the market after hearing the explosion, said.

It would be recalled that in June, two suicide attacks on police sites in N’Djamena killed at least 34 people. Since then, authorities in the central African country have made at least 60 arrests and raided an arms cache in an effort to dismantle Boko Haram’s networks.

It was also a bloody weekend for residents of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, South-South Nigeria, where about 11 persons were killed and scores wounded, when unknown gunmen opened fire at the Agbonchia Market in Eleme Local Government on Saturday evening.

An eye witnesse who identified herself simply as Beatrice said, “they (cultists) came into the market on a motorbike and they were about three on the bike.

“We thought they came to wash their motorcycle, but before we knew it, they started shooting at the people.

“Immediately after shooting, they jumped on top of their bike and sped off. In the end, we saw not less than 11 lifeless bodies on the ground and several others with gunshot injuries.

“We don’t know the reason behind the ugly incident,” she said.

When contacted, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ahmad Muhammad, who confirmed the incident, said five persons were killed and that one person had been arrested in connection with the attack.

He explained that preliminary investigation by the Police revealed that the incident was an attack by a cult group and that “investigation has commenced with a view to apprehending the fleeing miscreants.”

This resulted in palpable fear in the state where incidences of killing have become almost a daily occurrence in the past few months.