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Bauchi: 12 Killed, 27 Injured in Fresh Bombing

| June 4, 2012 More

Governor Isa Yuguda


By  Ahamefula Ogbu , Segun Awofadeji   and George Okoh 

At least 12 persons were killed Sunday  in Bauchi, Bauchi State, when a suicide bomber forced his way into two places of worship, Living Faith Church also known as Winners Chapel, and Harvest Field Church in Yelwa Tudu area of  the metropolis.

This came as about 50 persons were feared dead yesterday following a bloody tribal war between the Alago tribe and their neighbours, the Eggons, Nasarawa State.

Also, President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed sadness over the killings and condoled with those who lost their loved ones in the incidents.

However, the Bauchi State Police Command confirmed that only nine persons including the suicide bomber died in the incident that happened at 9.30 am.

THISDAY  checks  revealed that the suicide bomber had approached the church at about 9: 20 am in a Honda Civic car as worshipper who came for first service were leaving the premises.

It was further gathered that the bomb exploded just as the second service was in progress, but however devastated another Church (Harvest Field Church) close to the main target, the Living Faith Church.

The Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ladan, in a press conference in his office yesterday evening, said nine persons were killed while 27 others were injured.

Ladan also said the injured, who were taken to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, including a soldier and a mobile policeman, were receiving treatment.
He said his command was it toes as it had received intelligence reports of impending attacks on churches in the area.

The commissioner said following the security reports received, on June 2, there was a sustained joint internal security operation and deployment of security personnel   around the likely target areas.

He said: “The lone suicide bomber in a Honda Civic attempted to force his way unto the iron barricade at the entrance of Living Faith Church, Yelwa Tudu, Bauchi but was denied entry, in the process the suicide bomber succeeded in detonating his explosives at the barrier opposite Harvest Field Church.”

In a similar development, the Police commissioner revealed that one improvised explosive device (IED) was also intercepted near Dass Motor Park and defused by police anti-bomb squad.

Ladan appealed to the citizens of the state to remain calm and go about their normal activities with an assurance that the situation had been brought under control.

Eye witness from the Harvest Field Church told THISDAY that “…a suicide bomber in a Honda car sped to the church, but when stopped, he refused and ran faster until he hit the security gate of the next church and bomb exploded with loud bang that killed the bomber. We only saw half of his body from his leg to his waist but from his waist to his head was burnt to ashes completely”

He further said: “…after the explosion, there was fire and the explosion destroyed part of the church and the building collapsed on the worshippers while many persons were burnt while trying to make their way from the place of worship.

As at the time of filing this report, there was heavy Police and Army presence at Yelwa Tudu and Angwan Agas, while security patrol was also on in the Bauchi metropolis to forestall any breach of the peace as well as safeguard life and property of the citizenry.

Meanwhile, THISDAY investigation gathered that the Nasarawa crises, which started on Friday as a little skirmish between the two tribes, degenerated into a major conflict on Saturday night leading to the death of over 50 persons and properties worth several millions of naira destroyed.

An account of one of the victims at the Dahiru Araaf Special Hospital said the refusal of the people of the Eggon extraction to pay a “tithe” on all their farm produce to the Alago on each farming season may have sparked the crisis.

The Alago people in Assakio had maintained that since they owned the land, it was pertinent that the, Tiv, Migili and some other tribes from Plateau State living in the area, pay them some form of “tithe” on the land for farming on it.

However, it also gathered that while the Eggon people had observed that they would not be cajoled into paying any form of “tax” to the Alago people, arguing that  they have been living in the area for over 50 years.

THISDAY further learnt that the Eggon community, which had maintained its insistence, went on with the farming activities in the area, saying the Alago people were taking unnecessary advantage of them.

It was the development that sparked the crisis on Friday, leading to the killings which continued in the area on Saturday and movement of people out of the crisis area through Saturday and yesterday, investigation further revealed.

The state government has since waded into the matter to forestall any further breakdown of law and order as it has imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on the area to avert the killings and wanton destruction of property.

The state governor, Umaru Al-Makura, has met with security chiefs in the state on the need to put in place measures that would check the spread of the crisis.

Following this, the state command of the Nigeria Police has dispatched three units of mobile policemen (MOPOL) as well as eight vehicles of conventional police patrol men to the area to maintain law and order.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Cornelius Ocholi, who confirmed the incident while speaking with reporters in Lafia did not however disclose the number of lives lost to the crisis.

Conveying his condolence in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President regretted the attack on places of worship and pleaded with Nigerians not to be disheartened by the development.

“Rather, he urges Nigerians and friends of the country to be comforted by the knowledge that the significant reduction in the frequency of such attacks in recent weeks is a clear indication of the increasing effectiveness of measures that have been put in place by the security services to combat the evil of terrorism.

“President Jonathan assures Nigerians that the armed forces and security services will continue to implement proactive counter-terrorism measures and intensify efforts to totally eradicate the scourge of mindless terrorism from the country.”

Category: Bauchi State News

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