Seven people were yesterday confirmed dead in the bomb blast which occurred at a football viewing centre in Jos, Plateau State capital on Saturday.
The explosion was targeted at fans who were watching the Champions League final match between two Spanish clubs, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. It was the second explosion within a week. The first went off on Tuesday in a market, also in Jos.
Among those killed were two persons who tried to stop the suicide bombers from parking his car at the viewing centre which could contain about 700 people. The bomber died in the blast. The incident which occurred some minutes after 9pm, was targeted at football fans at the centre in Anguwan Rogo, close to the state headquarters of the Red Cross. The centre was barricaded by an iron bar preventing motorists from driving their vehicles close to it.
The bomber, who was driving a Honda Odyssey bus which was being escorted by a Toyota Hillux vehicle, had been going round the vicinity looking for how to get close to the centre so as to get more casualty.
An eyewitness who was at the scene of the bomb blast, one Abubakar Muhammad, said a man came to the spot and parked his vehicle, and ‘we told him to move it from there’. When I came back from the mosque after the Ishai prayers and was sitting with my landlord, Alhaji Bello Ahmad Ali, who was killed in the blast, people were parking their cars in front of our house, because the owners of the view centre did not allow them to park their vehicles in front of the place.
‘I went to challenge the owners of the centre, asking them why should they stop their customers from parking close to the place and sending them to park in front of our house.
“The man was speaking adulterated Hausa which we did not quite understand. He did not sound like a Nigerian. The blast claimed the life of the suicide bomber and my landlord, Alhaji Ahmad and the third man with us, Alhaji Awalu Falki.
“It was suspected that he bomber could have escaped inside the Toyota Hillux car following him, but for the men with him, who insisted he must leave with the car,” he said.
Apart from the two men, there were human parts littering the area. The residents claimed six people were killed excluding the suicide bomber. However, the Public Relations Officer of National Emergency Maintenance Agency (NEMA), Mr. Audu Yuhana, told Daily Sun that four people died.
Three others who were seriously injured have been moved to the state Specialist Hospital by men of the Red Cross and Fitiyanul Islam Group where they are receiving treatment.
Meanwhile, Governor Jonah David Jang has urged residents of the state to remain courageous and have faith that the war on terrorism would be won.
In a statement issued by his Director of Press Affairs, James Mannok, the governor said that another bomb blast which occurred four days after a similar one is a calculated attempt to disrupt the peace and normalcy which had returned to the state. While sympathising with the victims, the governor urged the security agencies to ensure the perpetrators and their sponsors are tracked down.tweet