A CATHOLIC church within the metro area of Jos was the scene of yet another mindless violence on Sunday morning as persons suspected to be Islamic extremists detonated a bomb that left at least 3 people dead and several others with varying degrees of injuries.
Members of St. Finbar’s Catholic Church at the Rayfield area of Jos were gathered as usual for their Sunday morning service when eyewitnesses near the scene heard the loud explosion from the bomb attack.
Spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency, Yushau Shuaib, said “NEMA officials are on the scene of a suspected suicide explosion at Finber’s Catholic Church, Rayfield, Jos. They are about to evacuate victims to hospital.”
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the latest attack. But the notoriously villainous group, Boko Haram, which has repeatedly harkened for a return to a medieval way of life in a modern Nigeria, has claimed responsibility for similar callous acts in the past.
Last week, in the far-north state of Sokoto, a raid led by British and Nigerian forces to free two hostages – a Briton and an Italian – held by extremists believed to be members of the same group was unsuccessful, as the hostages were executed while the rescue operation was in progress.
Although members of the group have come out to deny killing the hostages, their denial hardly resonates with many Nigerians for whom the kidnap and the killing follow a pattern that is widely associated with the same group who have gone to extreme limits as mass murder to incite fear and hatred in Nigeria.
Later on Sunday, angry Christians set up road blocks near the church. In the past, such a move has preceded retaliatory violence against Muslims.
Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is forbidden," wants Sharia law more widely applied across Nigeria.
The sect has been waging an insurgency against Nigeria's government since 2009, and has been blamed for hundreds of killings in gun and bomb attacks.
Styled on the Taliban, its methods have become more brutal in the past six months, and it has widened its targets beyond the police and other authority figures to include ordinary Christian civilians.