By Yusuf Alli, Abuja

 


…Army, security agencies deploy in disaster area … Living Faith Church attacked

Clergymen gathered around the coffins of the victims of the Christmas day bombing at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State. Photo: Reuters

A suicide bomber on sunday killed 15 and injured 42 others in an attack on a chapel of the Living Faith Church in Bauchi Northeast Nigeria.

But the government has swiftly deployed in Army, police and other security agencies to the scene of the blast.Also, security has been beefed up in Bauchi and its environs following fears of reprisals.

Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Alhaji Muhammed Inuwa Bello, who spoke with our correspondent, the incident occurred between 9am and 9.30am.

He said: “We experienced a bomb explosion at Living Faith Church in Yelwa Tudu, which is about 10 to 12 kilometres to Bauchi in Bauchi Local Government Area.

“From the account at our disposal, the bomb explosion occurred when some worshippers were just coming out of the church. Although the car involved in the explosion had attempted to hit the church but it could not get to the building.

“The car rammed into the entrance leading into an instant bomb explosion. Of course, many cars which were parked within the premises of the church got engulfed.

“We have so far retrieved the corpses of 15 people and 42 others who were injured have been evacuated to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Teaching Hospital in Bauchi.”

Bello , who said the mopping operation was continuing at press time, confirmed that the Nigerian Army and other security agencies had been deployed in the area.

He added: “We are trying as much as possible to attend to those injured in the blast and all hands are on deck to save them.”

Another source, who gave insight into the explosion, said: “We suspected that a neat Honda car was used for the dastardly act by the bomber.

He said some of them suffered high degree of burns as a result of the impact of the explosion.

He said: “The attack was targeted at a period the first set of worshippers was leaving. Most of them were caught unawares as they were exchanging pleasantries.

“The security was tight at the church but the suicide bomber defied the barricades to wreak havoc. Expectedly, the suicide bomber died alongside some security guards and other volunteers in the church premises.

“The death toll could be higher than 15 given by SEMA. Most people are still looking for their relations.”

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) through its Head of Public Relations, Alhaji Yushau Shuaib, confirmed the incident.

He said: “NEMA has confirmed an explosion in Yelwa Tudu community in Bauchi State . Since NEMA does not have an office in the state, it mobilizes response agencies to the scene for rescue and intervention.”

As at press time, security has been beefed up in Bauchi and its environs following fears of reprisals.

A reliable security source said: “Given the religious configuration of Bauchi, we have so far beefed up security in the area because of likely reprisal attacks

“Anti-bomb experts have also been deploy in the scene of the blast for preliminary investigation.”

 

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