Boko Haram crisis: Jos blasts kill scores

Two bomb attacks on the central Nigerian city of Jos have left at least 44 people dead, the authorities say.

A restaurant and a mosque were targeted on Sunday night.

No group has said it carried out the attack, but militant group Boko Haram has attacked Jos before, even though it is not in north-east Nigeria where the Islamists normally operate.

The blasts are the latest in a series of deadly attacks in recent days which have seen more than 200 people killed.

The attacks came shortly after the Ramadan fast was broken, with both sites full of people.

Of the 44 dead, 23 were killed at the restaurant and 21 at the mosque, Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency (Nema) says.

_84079545_img_0687

There are also 47 people being treated for injuries, but emergency officials are still gathering information, so the figures may rise.

The blast at the restaurant was caused by a bomb that had been planted, whereas the mosque was attacked by a suicide bomber and that explosion was preceded by gunfire, the BBC’s Ishaq Khalid reports.

Eyewitness Akaria Ahammed said: “When they started shooting people, people started running helter-skelter for their lives.

“Unfortunately those that stood up were shot.”

_84096349_028046473-1

Our correspondent says that many believe that the mosque’s imam, who was preaching at the time, may have been the target.

Sheikh Muhammad Sani Yahya Jingir, who survived the attack, is known for preaching against Boko Haram and has written a book which criticises the group called Boko Halal (Western education is permitted – Boko Haram means Western education is forbidden).

He has survived a previous assassination attempt at his home and is seen as one of the most influential clerics in Nigeria.

Speaking on Monday, Sheikh Jingir said the bombing was “not an attack on an individual, it is an attack on all of us”.

Meanwhile the Nigerian military told the BBC it had freed more than 180 people who had been detained on suspicion of being Boko Haram members.

The former suspects had been freed after being screened by the military to ensure their innocence, officials said.

Correspondents say Nigeria’s treatment of Boko Haram suspects has been an extremely contentious issue.

Amnesty International says that thousands have died in detention in the past four years – something the military denies.

However, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to investigate the rights group’s claims.

Share This Post

Post Comment