At least 24 people are feared dead in today’s bombings in Kaduna, and the attendant reprisal attacks that followed the bombings.
Abuja based Daily Trust says 13 people lost their lives in the bomb attacks on the three churches in Zaria and Kaduna this morning.
Eleven others, the paper said, were killed in reprisal attacks across the town.
It quoted Taylor Adeyemi, the acting Chief Medical Director of St. Luke’s hospital in Wusasa, as saying 40 victims, mostly children, were brought into the hospital following the blast at ECWA in Wusasa. Of this number, three were dead on arrival.
The report said from the blast at the Christ the King Cathedral at No. 80 Yoruba street, 10 were confirmed dead and over 50 injured. Details of the casualties from the Trikania attack is not immediately available.
Three churches were attacked this morning by suicide bombers in Kaduna. One went off at the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) church, Wusasa and another at the Christ the King Cathedral Catholic Church at No. 80, Yoruba Street, Sabon Gari, Zaria, just behind the Army Depot, Zaria where all Nigerian soldiers receive their basic training. The third church, Shalom Church at Trikania close to Abuja Fly over and Textile Labour house, was hit by multiple explosions around 10:17am.
Also, about 35 victims of the reprisal attacks that followed the bombing have been taken to St. Gerard’s Hospital within the metropolis according to the hospitals public relations officer. Seven of them were dead on arrival, burnt by their presumed assailants.
The explosions sparked violence in Kaduna as christian youths retaliated, moving around with cutlasses and sticks among other weapons. Sources say the youths burnt a mosque at Television area and another at Goningora was broken into and vandalised in retaliation for the attacks on the three churches.
Men of Operation Yaki are said to have taken charge of the situation, especially around Goningora which is along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway and where Christian youths were beginning to get violent. An eyewitness told Daily Trust he saw four dead bodies near the Goningora mosque. Other trouble spots so far identified are Sabo, Trikania, Television area, Tudun Wada and Unguwan Rimi.
Road blocks have been set up at strategic areas and traffic along the expressway which was initially halted is now being allowed with military escorts. Other areas of Kaduna metropolis are experiencing an uneasy calm
The Abuja-Kaduna expressway links many states in the North to Abuja.