Tuesday, May 20, 2014 6:11 pm
Two explosive devices exploded on Tuesday at the Terminus Market, Jos, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
Maj-Gen. Dave Enetie, Commander of the Special Task Force (STF) in Jos, confirmed the blasts but did not give further details.
An eye-witness, Peter Amine, said the first explosion went off in the centre of the market, while the second followed about 14 minutes later, adding that the incident occurred during peak business hour.
“We were inside the market when I heard a loud explosion at about 3:28 p.m.
“Before I knew what happened, a vehicle part landed just by my legs,’’ a visibly shaken Amine told NAN.
He said that a thick dark smoke engulfed the scene, thus compounding the already chaotic situation as horror-stricken persons ran in all directions.
There has been no official confirmation of the casualties, but estimates of the dead was put between 72 and 200.
The bombs went off 32 minutes apart.
The first vehicle to explode was a Peugeot J5 van, with the registration number XG 148 BLD. The second blast was carried out with a Toyota Sienna van, with a Gombe state license plate number, which was abandoned since 6 AM Tuesday morning.
At least five residents had informed police officials, suspicious of the mysteriously van parked in their area, but no police arrived at the scene, and nothing was done until the car exploded some hours afterwards. Sources tell SaharaReporters the car “exploded,” after a beeping sound was heard from curious local residents.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan President has condemned the bomb blasts, describing the perpetrators of this tragic assault on human freedom as cruel and evil.
He has also directed all relevant agencies to mobilise support and relief efforts in aid of the victims, according to a statement by the presidency today.
The President extended his heartfelt sympathies to the affected families and persons.
President Jonathan assured all Nigerians that 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.
Since 14 April, several bombs had been planted in Abuja, Kano, causing heavy human casualties.