(image source: aol.com)
The death toll from a set of bomb blasts which rocked the city of Jos in North Eastern Nigeria has risen to about 118 says the National emergency management agency (NEMA).
The explosions took place yesterday in a busy business area of the city packed with commuters and traders. The first bomb is thought to have been detonated from a car packed full of explosives causing people to rush to the aid of those wounded only for another to go off with such force, it tore of the roof of the market leading to an increase in the number of casualties.
While no one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, many are pointing at Islamist group Boko Haram who have recently stepped up attacks in Nigeria’s North east region in its bid to abolish western education in the country and impose Sharia law.
Jos in Plateau state has been relatively free of attacks from the terrorist group since a horrific attack at a Church on Christmas day in 2011 killed scores of people, although it has been home to sectarian violence between Christian and Muslim groups in the past.
Speaking to the Guardian, the head of the emergency rescue effort in Jos Abdulsalam Mohammed told the paper that the death toll was likely to rise as rescue workers were still pulling bodies out of the rubble.
“The casualty figure is likely to rise because the fire service wasn’t able to clear all the rubble today. They will continue to remove the debris tomorrow and we are expecting to recover more bodies then,” he said.
Boko Haram has killed over 1, 200 this year alone with attacks concentrated in the North Eastern states particularly Borno State. The sect is seeking to establish itself as a terror group becoming more and more sophisticated in its use of explosives, a far cry from the home-made bombs they initially started with five years ago.
This month alone, Boko Haram struck twice in the capital of Abuja in the Nyanya district killing hundreds amidst fears that the militant group is gaining ground in its infliction of terror on Nigerians.
In April, the group abducted over 300 girls from a school in Chibok, a town in Borno state. Despite a joint international rescue effort including Britain and America, the girls are yet to be found.
Many Nigerians now live in fear as they go about their daily routines, wondering when next the group might strike.
President Goodluck Jonathan has called the attack ‘evil’ and assured Nigerians of the governments committment to fighting terrorism in the country according to a statement released by his office.
With the current escalation of violence by the terrorist group, many wonder if the government is capable of taking on the group with a military that is ill-equipped to fight a terrorist group that is increasingly becoming bolder with each successful attack.