Three killed, 46 wounded in Bauchi suicide attack

Channels Television  
Updated September 23, 2012

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Otitoju Stevens told Channels Television in a telephone interview that the blast occurred along the Murtala Mohammed Way close to the Tafawa Balewa Stadium. He said the blast did not affect the church building.

Mr. Stevens however said three people have been confirmed dead from the attack; the bomber and a woman died on the spot while a boy believed to be around the ages of 8-10 died in the hospital.

He refuted the claims that journalists were stopped from gaining access to the blast site. Stevens blamed the barricade on the large crowd trying to gain access to the scene.

He said “That is not to my knowledge, I was at the hospital myself but you will know that a large crowd had to gather there and the security agencies were on hand to check the influx of people in order to prevent any similar occurrence in that area.

“I did not see any journalist that was prevented because I was personally interviewed by a journalist live at the premises of that hospital” said Stevens.

No arrests have been made as the police chief said their priority was to save the lives of the injured and not to make immediate arrests.

He however confirmed commencement of investigations and promised to communicate their findings as soon as it is concluded.

A suicide bomber blew himself up at the St. John Catholic Church in the Wunti area of Bauchi state north-east Nigeria today.

The church was conducting the Sunday Mass when the bomber attacked.

The blast killed the bomber and wounded three others the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said.

“Three injured victims were rushed to the hospital for medical attention,” he said.

However, the Associated Press reports that the blast killed only the bomber but 46 other persons were injured and doctors fear more could lose their lives due to the level of injuries sustained from the blast.

Bauchi State Deputy Commissioner of Police, Otitoju Stevens, while confirming the blast, at the Bauchi University Teaching Hospital, told journalists that the bomber was stopped at the gate by church security, where he detonated the bomb-ladden car.

Stevens also assured that his men have taken control of the situation and asked the people of the area to go about their normal businesses.

‘‘The situation has been brought under control,’’ Stevens said. ‘‘We have our men minding all areas.’’

Military personel have cordoned off the area preventing journalists from gainig proper access to blast site.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack but it mirrors the operational mode of the dreaded Islamist sect Boko Haram

The sect has killed hundreds of people since 2009 in attacks on security forces, government offices and places of worship, and has been designated a terrorist group by the United States.