Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Explosions Rock Jos

Jos — Two explosive devices thrown from a moving car last night blasted at the West of Mines area of Jos last night, wounding many people, according to witnesses.

The blasts happened at about 8: 30 pm and were targeted at shops, restaurants, drinking joints and other eateries in the area.

It could not be confirmed if there were deaths, but a witness said a man whose leg was severed had been taken to a hospital.

People run away from the place for fear of being hit by another explosion. The area was also cordoned off by police and military personnel shortly after.

A lady resident of West of Mines told our correspondent that she was sitting in her room a few meters away from the scene when she heard the first blast which sounded like the blasting of a rock.

She said not quite a minute after that, she heard another blast and immediately saw people running away from the area screaming that there was a bomb.

She said the people who were near the scene talked about seeing a device thrown from a moving vehicle which immediately exploded and that after the car gained some distance, the occupants threw another one which also exploded.

The sound of the second blast made people who were advancing towards the place to assist people hit by the first explosion to run away fearing there might be another blast.

Spokesman for the Special Task Force (STF), Cpt. Charles Ekeocha, confirmed there were blasts to our correspondent.

He said the task force sent its men to find out the details.

Ekeocha said he could not confirm the number of casualties as he was yet to get a report from his men who went to the scene.

The West of Mines area houses many restaurants and drinking joints and is usually very busy in the evenings as people throng there to relax or buy delicacies like roasted fish or chicken.

The incident has sent the whole Jos into panic as people made frantic calls to confirm if the incident was true and whether it could provoke another round of violence on the crises ridden town.

There were at least three similar explosions in Jos over the past one year, starting from the Christmas Eve bombing that left many dead.

Jos has seen a renewed cycle of internecine violence since end of last month, when Muslims saying their Eid el-Fitr prayers were reported to be attacked by Christian youths. Many people died on that day, sparking days of violence in the city.

The violence moved to the adjoining villages, with late-night gun raids nearly every day, in some cases wiping out entire families.

Nearly 100 people have been killed in the latest cycle of violence, according to news reports.

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