Four people have been arrested in connection with a Christmas day bombing that took place at the Mountain on Fire Ministries, Murtala Mohammed Way Jos, Plateau State capital.
While briefing newsmen, spokesman of the Special Task Force (STF) Captain Charles Ekeocha said that the incident occurred after nearly all the visitors had gone home after service. He noted that two explosions damaged three vehicles parked on the church. “Although the situation has been brought under control, we lost one policeman. We have made four arrests and I thank God that this is headway because we can use them to get more information”. TMV also gathered that four unexploded devices were discovered at the scene and were defused by the anti bomb squad.
A member of the STF who spoke to TMV on condition of anonymity said that the first explosion occurred at the residence of some Hausa citizens about twenty meters away from the church. “Immediately we heard the first explosion, which alerted us, we quickly distributed ourselves. And a gun battle that lasted over an hour ensued between us and the attackers”. He further said the police officer who lost his life was killed in the gun battle.
While another police intelligence officer corroborated the above information, he added that the gunmen escaped into Gangare, a heavily Hausa populated community, which was located close to Mountain Fire Ministries. According to the officer, the four men that were arrested are still being investigated to see if they were connected with the bomb plantings and the gunmen who exchanged fire with security officers.
As already reported by other news outlets, similar bomb explosions claimed several lives at the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madala area of Suleja, Niger State. The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that the explosion occurred in a street just outside the church and did not disclose the number of casualties. Other attacks targeting security operatives were also reported in Damaturu, Yobe State. Speaking for the Plateau State Government, Special Adviser on Media Pam Ayuba condemned the attacks during a visit to the scene of the incident.
You should note that flyers warning of possible bomb attackS circulated around Jos a week before Christmas. However, the STF dismissed the information on the flyers as rumors, claiming they were on top of the situation.