MS Risk Blog

Two Blasts Rock Central Nigerian City

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According to police officials, two blasts rocked the central Nigerian city of Jos on Sunday, in what is the latest unrest to occur in the region. Emergency services reported Monday that at least 44 people were killed in the twin bomb blasts, which comes after a wave of mass casualty attacks blamed on Boko Haram.

Plateau state police spokesman Abuh Emmanuel confirmed “…that there were two explosions in Jos this evening. One happened at the Bauchi motor park and the other at Yantaya, near the mosque.” He further indicated that he could not immediately state if there were any causalities, adding that police officers have been sent to the scene. On Monday, Mohammed Abdulsalam, from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) disclosed that “at the moment we have 44 dead bodies and 47 others injured from the scenes of the two attacks.”

Witnesses have reported that the first explosion went off around 9:14 PM (2014 GMT) at Bauchi road shopping complex, which is located near the Bauchi motor park and the University of Jos. It targeted the packed Shagalinku restaurant located in the shopping complex, which is popular with travellers from the northeast. One witnesses disclosed that the second explosion was heard four minutes later, adding that it occurred close to the popular Yantaya Mosque. The witness reported that a van and several other vehicles were seen transporting some of the dead and injured to the local hospital. Another witnesses, who was at the Yantaya mosque for the “Tafsir,” or Koran commentary session, reported that a number of attackers opened fire from outside at about 9:20 PM (2020 GMT), adding “they fired an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) at the mosque but it hit a metal bar on the facade and exploded…Many people were killed and injured from the shooting and the explosion.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday’s bomb attacks in Jos, which is the capital of Plateau state. Boko Haram however has repeatedly attacked the city in the past. In February, at least seventeen people were killed when a twin blast hit a bus park in the city.

Sunday night’s twin blasts come just hours after a suicide attack on a church in the northeastern city of Potiskum on Sunday, which left five people dead, including the pastor, a woman and two children.

According to an unofficial count, Sunday’s bombings took the death toll from raids, explosions and suicide attacks to 267 this month along, and to 524 since Muhammadu Buhari became president on 29 May. While President Buhari has repeatedly vowed that he will crush the militant’s six-year insurgency, the rising death toll, coupled with increasing attacks and the military being unable to prevent them, the president is now under growing pressure to react quickly.

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