A timed bomb was defused yesterday at Kwana Shagari area of Jos North Local Government Council of Plateau State by the Anti-Bomb Squad of the State Police Command, just as the death toll on Thursday’s twin explosions rose to 37.
The explosions occurred at the Terminus area of the city in about three minutes interval leaving about 31 people dead while 47 others were injured and were rushed to nearby hospitals for medical attention.
A bomb that was carefully planted at Kwana Shagari area was discovered by the residents, who alerted the Police Anti-Bomb Squad personnel that defused the bomb before it could detonate. Kwana Shagari is a Muslim densely populated area in Jos metropolis.
After going round most hospitals in the metropolis, it was discovered that the casualty figure had risen to 37.
The Jos Terminus area where the twin explosions occurred on Thursday had been banned to street traders because similar twin blast had killed over 100 people there in May this year.
Though the area was banned, traders, especially traders on second hand clothing, still patronised the area by spreading their wares on the roads around 6.00pm when officials of the Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB) must have closed.
Plateau State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Abubakar Muhammad Badu, yesterday put the casualty figure at 32, noting that 45 others sustained injuries as a result of the blast.
Badu made the disclosure during a joint press briefing in Jos that comprised the National Emergency Management Agency, State Emergency Management Agency, Nigeria Red Cross, Special Task Force (STF) and the Nigeria Police.
He regretted the incident and urged residents of the state to be calm and watchful.
He stressed: “Reports so far received from the security and other relevant agencies this morning indicate that 45 persons were injured while 32 others were killed by the twin bomb blasts.
“Government wishes to assure all that it will give the necessary support to the security agencies in order to unravel those behind this wicked act. We sympathise with families that lost their loved ones and pray for the quick recovery of those injured.
“Members of the public are advised to be on the alert, be vigilant and cooperate with the security agencies to ensure that this kind of unfortunate incident is averted in the future.”
Briefing journalists on the incident earlier, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Nasiru Disu Oki, said that the two bombers were females.
At the Our Lady of Apostles (OLA) Hospital, Jos, a woman who was injured, Mrs. Mary Enejoh, said she went to the Terminus to buy foodstuff from her friend who sells there when the blast went off injuring her but her three-year old daughter was not affected at all.
Another injured person, Mallam Hassan Buba, who works with NASCO Group of Companies, said he closed from work and was coming to town but decided to go and see his landlord in the place.
According to him, he was discussing with him when the first bomb exploded, adding that they started running but were hit by another blast.
Meanwhile, the Senator representing Plateau North in the National Assembly and PDP gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Gyang Pwajok has condemned the incident, describing it as the handiwork of the enemies of the people. The Guardian