Death toll rises to 11 in Jos bomb blast

A Victim of the St. Finbarrs Church bombing

Medical authorities in Plateau Specialist Hospital, Jos, have indicated that the casualties in today’s suicide attack on St. Finbar’s Catholic Church, Rayfield, Jos, are higher than initially reported.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the casualty figures included those of two persons suspected to be the masterminds of the suicide bombing, along with two motorcylists who were mobbed at the scene.

The Medical Director of the hospital, Matawwal Bitrus, said the hospital had received the corpses of six victims, while the corpse of another victim was reportedly deposited at the mogue of the Jos University Teaching Hospital.

That brings the figure to 11 from the seven that was initially reported in the afternoon.

“We received 15 casualties from the attack,” the Chief Medical Director, Ishaya Pam, said. “One of the victims died while being rushed to the hospital, while 14 others sustained various degrees of injuries and are in critical conditions. Some sustained varying degrees of burns, while three had gunshot wounds. But they are in stable condition and responding to treatment.”

On its part, the Red Cross indicated that it had taken 22 injured people in to various hospitals in the metropolis.

“For now, we have 22 injured at Jos University Teaching Hospital, Plateau Specialist Hospital and Air Force Military Hospital in Jos,”  the State Chairman of the Red Cross, Manasseh Pampe, said. “Many of the injured are in critical conditions, though they are stable and responding to treatment.  But we also note that some of the injured were taken to different hospitals in the metropolis by different people.

“We are unable to ascertain the actual numbers of those taken to other hospitals by several people, mostly relatives of the victims.”

State security task force spokesman, Markus Mdahyelya, said the security outfit responded well to the emergency, saying it would issue a formal statement on the incident later.

The National Emergency Management Agency had earlier told Premium Times that seven deads were recorded, including three worshippers killed in the suicide bombing at St Finbarrs Church, Jos.

According to NEMA’s spokesperson, Yushau Shuaib, some of its officials and aid rescue workers moved three bodies, including those of a little boy, a pregnant woman and one man, who were killed instantly.

Police account has it that less than 10 persons died from the incident, according to Plateau State Command spokesperson, Samuel Dabai

“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 said. “Some Christian youth started protesting in the area soon after the blast, preventing security personnel from taking over the crime scene.

A suicide bomber had attacked St. Finbarrs Catholic Church in the Ray Field area of Jos, ramming a vehicle into the fence of the church.

The Parish Priest, Rev Fr. Peter Umoren, however, told 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,” the priest said.“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 the bombers rammed their car into the fence wall and exploded the device, killing the Scout boy.’’


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