Kaduna — Daily Trust has confirmed that at least 23 people lost their lives in the bomb attacks on three churches in Kaduna this morning. These figures are from the three main hospitals where victims were taken to and does not include those taken to other private hospitals.
In addition, about 11 others have been killed in reprisal attacks across the town.
According to Dr. Taylor Adeyemi, the acting Chief Medical Director of St. Luke's hospital in Wusasa, 40 victims, mostly children were brought into their hospital following the blast at ECWA in Wusasa. Of this number, three were dead on arrival.
From the blast at the Christ the King Cathedral at No. 80 Yoruba street Daily Trust confirmed 10 dead and over 50 injured.
Also, Dr. Lawal Khalid, the Chief Medical Director of ABU Teaching Hospital has confirmed to Daily Trust that the hospital received nine victims dead on arrival and is treating 31 others. One of the wounded died while receiving treatment, bringing the death toll at ABUTH to 10. These are also from the blasts at Wusasa and Zaria, he said. He also said those receiving treatment at the hospital are all in stable condition.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna state government has imposed a 24-hour curfew to bring the volatile situation under control. Thousands are trapped in different places of worship in the city and cannot go home due to the curfew order.
Three churches were attacked this morning by suicide bombers in Kaduna. One went off at the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) church, Wusasa and another at the Christ the King Cathedral Catholic church at No. 80, Yoruba Street, Sabon Gari, Zaria, just behind the Army Depot, Zaria where all Nigerian soldiers receive their basic training. The third church, Shalom Church at Trikania close to Abuja Fly over and Textile Labour house, was hit by multiple explosions around 10:17am.
Also, about 35 victims of the reprisal attacks that followed the bombing have been taken to St. Gerard's Hospital within the metropolis according to the hospitals public relations officer. Seven of them were dead on arrival, burnt by their presumed assailants.
The explosions sparked violence in Kaduna as christian youths retaliated, moving around with cutlasses and sticks among other weapons. Sources say the youths burnt a mosque at Television area and another at Gonin Gora was broken into and vandalised in retaliation for the attacks on the three churches.
Men of Operation Yaki are said to have taken charge of the situation, especially around Goningora which is along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway and where Christian youths were beginning to get violent. An eyewitness told Daily Trust he saw four dead bodies near the Goningora mosque. Other trouble spots so far identified are Sabon Tasha, Trikania, Television area and Unguwan Romi.
"Everything is being done to bring the situation to a stop by denying those bent on causing anarchy in the state the opportunity to celebrate their objectives. Government regret this decisive decision, but it has been done in the interest of the state in order to avoid the loss of lives and property in the state again. There is no doubt it is going to cause some hardship but government have the responsibilities to ensure the safety of lives and property," Gov. Patrick Yakowa said in a statewide broadcast announcing the curfew.
Road blocks have been set up at strategic areas and traffic along the expressway which was initially halted has resumed but with military escorts.. Other areas of Kaduna metropolis are experiencing an uneasy calm.