In addition to the series of terrorist attacks Nigeria has been facing, 118 people have been pronounced dead and more than 50 injured due to twin car bombings that took place in the city of Jos on Tuesday. The attacks were approximately 30 minutes apart and the first took place in a bus terminal. According to the media 10 people were killed in this attack when a bomb inside of a mini bus went off. The second car bombing took place in a busy market where the most casualties occurred. There is a possibility of the death toll rising as Jos’ National Emergency Management Agency continues to search through the wreckage for bodies.
The first attack was a suicide bombing and the second was a result of an explosive device which was planted inside of a mini bus. A journalist on the scene who had witnessed the first explosion stated that people were running and screaming. Some of them were covered in blood and others had to be carried away.
According to Mohammed Abdulsalam of the National Emergency Management Agency, victims in these attacks were mainly women, children and vendors.
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan called the bombings in Jos a “tragic assault on human freedom,” and described those who were behind these attacks as “cruel and evil.” His office stated, “The government remains fully committed to winning the war against terror, and this administration will not be cowed by the atrocities of enemies of human progress and civilization.”
Two days prior to this attack four people were killed in a suicide car bomb in the city of Kano. On Monday, reports from local news stated that police found an explosive device inside of a car and were able to safely remove it.
Although so far there are no identified suspects in this crime, Boko Haram has claimed that he was behind one of two bombings that killed 75 people in the country’s capital, Abuja, in April. They have also been known to target the city of Jos as it is located between the predominately Muslim northern region and the Christian south. In just this year alone Boko Haram is accountable for over 1,000 deaths.
In addition the bombing in Abuja, Boko Haram is responsible for the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls in the city of Chibok. Only less than half of those who were abducted have been able to escape so far.
Boko Haram has been involved in terrorist activities since 2009. They aim to continue these attacks in order to overthrow the government and establish Islamic rule in a country where half of the population is Christian.
In efforts to gain some control over bombings and prevent further attacks, a state of emergency has been declared in several states in the northern area of Nigeria where Boko Haram is most active. President Jonathan has also stated that his government is planning to take necessary measures to ensure a safe return of the kidnapped schoolgirls. A presidential committee is expected to travel to Chibok on an investigative mission on Wednesday.
By: Sarah Temori