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NEMA: Four Killed, 3 Injured In Jos Bombing

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… How It Happened, By Resident Who Lost Two Family Members

SAN FRANCISCO, May 25, (THEWILL) â€' The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said on Sunday that four persons, including the suicide bomber, were killed and three others, were injured in the Saturday bomb blast near a public viewing centre along the Bauchi Road in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

The confirmation came as many Christians in the city shunned the Sunday Church services out of fear that the bombers may strike again.

However, Churches which opened for services, subjected their worshippers to thorough security screening and checks before allowing them to enter the church premises.

Confirming the casualty figure of the Saturday blast, NEMA Principal Planning Officer, North Central zone, Mohammed Suleiman, said three bodies were recovered on Saturday night with yet another recovered Sunday morning .

'Three other persons sustained injuries and they are presently receiving treatment: two at the Al-Hassan Hospital, Anguwan Rogo and another at Gambazi Hospital, Yanshanu.

'Immediately we received the distress call that there was an explosion around Bauchi Road, close to the Red Cross office, we swung into action. When we arrived, the place was still in flames; so the fire service had to put off the fire, then together with the Red Cross and other emergency workers, we started the search and rescue,' he said while addressing newsmen at the scene of the incident on Sunday.

NEMA confirmation came as the state Commissioner for Information and Communication, Barrister Olivia Daziem, expressed the government's regret on the incident . In a statement she issued, the state government commiserated with the families of the victims, instructing hospitals to attend to the victims promptly, saying it was ready to foot their medical bills.

'It is obvious that the intention of these messengers of anarchy is to break our spirit and set us apart. We should therefore not allow ourselves to fall into their devious plan but remain united andfocused on the Plateau peace project,' she said in the statement.

Meanwhile, the Member, representing Jos North constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Baba Hassan, has condemned the explosion, describing it as a declaration of war against all Nigerians.

Making the condemnation on Sunday at the scene of the explosion, Hassan commended the community for their security consciousness and bravery, saying 'I am impressed with what happened even after the explosion: the youths came together and helped in the search and rescue.'

According to him, 'If not for the security consciousness of the youths in the community, the bomber would have achieved his aim of getting to the viewing centre and that would have been catastrophic.'

While called on citizens of the state to unite irrespective of ethnic and religious difference to fight the common enemy.

While calling on the state and Federal Government to rise up to the present security challenges, Hassan said 'the government has a responsibility of securing lives and properties of every Nigerian.'

In the same vein, the Commissioner for Water Resources, Idi Waziri, who also visited the scene of the blast, called on residents of the state to be extra vigilant to identify any strange face amongst them.

'From what I gathered, based on the number plate from the vehicle, the bomber was not from here. We have to be vigilant because these people may be dwelling among us,' the Commissioner advised.

A resident of the area, Alhaji Garba Ahmad, who lost his elder brother, Alhaji Bello, in the blast, disclosed that the bomber had first attempted to enter the viewing centre, but was prevented by a barricade erected along the road, so he turned back trying to enter through a garage, but also encountered a wall between the centre and the garage.

Giving a graphic detail of the blast, Ahmad said: 'In frustration, the bomber parked the car, a Honda Odyssey, in front of our house. 'When we saw the car, unusually packed in front of our house, my brother challenged the bomber, who told my brother that his car was spoilt and that he wanted to repair it. My brother then asked him totake the car elsewhere to repair it.

'Sensing something unusual, I went inside and asked all the members of our family to leave the house. Just as my brother was persuading the man to leave the premises, he (the bomber) entered the car and immediately, he started it, the bomb exploded, killing my brother, his son and his friend.'