The National Emergency Management Agency has just told Premium Times that three worshippers were killed in this morning’s suicide bombing at St Finbarrs Church, Jos.
NEMA’s spokesperson, Yushau Shuaib, said rescue workers from his agency moved three bodies to hospital.
The casualties include a little boy, a pregnant woman and one man who were killed instantly.
This was in addition to the two bombers who died in the vehicle that conveyed the bombs, while two others, believed to have ridden on motorcycles as escorts of the bomb bearers, were lynched by an angry mob.
He said it was unlikely that any other agency moved bodies from the scene.
Mr. Shuaib however said the number of injured victims were yet to be ascertained. He also could not say how serious the injuries are and whether all the injured would survive the accident.
The police only said less than 10 persons died from suicide blast in Jos
The spokesperson of Plateau State Command of the police, Samuel Dabai told Premium Times, “So far, I can confirm to you that less than 10 people lost their lives in the bomb blast including the suicide bomber.”
Mr. Dabai also said some Christian youth started protesting in the area soon after the blast, preventing security personnel from taking over the crime scene.
He however said a combined team of security agencies had succeded in restoring calm and that investigators have since gained access to the scene of the blast.
Eyewitnesses told us they counted seven dead bodies being evacuated from the scene of the blast while over 20 persons who suffered various degrees of injuries were taken to hospitals.
One of the eyewitnesses, who gave his name as Andrew, also said five vehicles were damaged in the explosion.
A suicide bombers had attacked St. Finbarrs Catholic Church in the Ray Field area of Jos, by ramming a vehicle into the fence of the Church.
The Parish Priest, Rev Fr. Peter Umorem, however, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), that the little boy, who died instantly, was a member of the Boys’ Scout manning the gate at the time of the attack.
He said that the attack happened 10 minutes into the 10.00 a.m. mass.
“I was at the altar when I heard a loud explosion. Suddenly things were falling all over, and there was pandemonium in the Church.
“Some members grabbed me and rescued me to a safe place. I later learned that it was a suicide attack and that the bomber tried to enter through the gate but was prevented.
“That was when he rammed into the fence wall and exploded the device killing the Scout boy.’’
NAN reports that the parishioners, who were visibly angry at the alleged lack of action by the Joint Military Task Force, barred soldiers from entering the Church premises.
Only officials of NEMA and members of the civil defence corps were allowed into the Church premises to carry out rescue work.
NAN reports that the attacked Church is where the former Plateau Deputy Governor, Mrs Pauline Tallen, worships.