Three church members have been confirmed dead and 38 others injured on Sunday when suicide bombers rammed their explosive-laden vehicle into the headquarters of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) during service in Jos, capital of Plateau state, said National Emergency Management Agency.
Dr. Samuel Ibrahim of the Plateau Specialist Hospital also confirmed that several victims have been admitted in the hospital for varying degrees of injuries.
Those injured in the morning blast were taken to several other hospitals in the city, including the Sauki Hospital, Bingham University Teaching Hospital and the Jos University teaching Hospital.
Report says the suicide bombers who were dressed in army uniform tricked the soldiers deployed to provide security at the church by pretending to stop at the checkpoint, only to force their way into the church premises and detonate the explosive in their vehicle.
“The vehicle came from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) junction and when the soldiers wanted to search the car, the occupants said they should be allowed to park after the check-point before being searched. The soldiers allowed them but when the Church security insisted on checking, the bombers pretended as if they were going to stop, but zoomed off into the Church compound as service was on going.”
“The bombers were in a hurry as if the timing of the explosive had almost reached,” the report quoted an eyewitness as saying.
“Shortly afterwards the vehicle exploded and the impact of the blast damaged 37 vehicles parked in the church premises,’ the eyewitness said.
COCIN President, Rev. Soja Bewarang, who wept uncontrollably at the scene, condemned the attack and blamed the soldiers who were on duty for lapses.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but residents suspect the extremist Boko Haram sect is behind the attack.