Two blasts hit Nigeria's city of Jos, casualties feared   2014-05-21 00:56:42            

ABUJA, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Two explosions rocked a busy market road in Nigeria's central city of Jos on Tuesday afternoon, killing and injuring an unconfirmed number of people, eyewitnesses and rescuers said.

A thick smoke enveloped the Railway Terminus area, close to the Jos Main Market and the state-run Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), following the twin blasts, according to Michael Labesa, a civil servant, who witnessed the incidents.

"The incident occurred on a busy afternoon, so we cannot overrule the loss of lives and properties. In fact, there were some dead bodies but I cannot confirm the number of casualties because there is pandemonium here," said the witness.

Security operatives scurried to the scene of the incident and ambulances and emergency officers had also arrived the area, Clement Akpati, a rescue operator told Xinhua by phone. The incident had caused traffic gridlock in the area as motorists and survivors scampered for safety, he added.

As of the time of filing this report, no security agency or state official had given figure of casualties, but witnesses said many people were injured as the blasts affected shops and other buildings in the area.

State commander of the military-led Special Task Force (STF) Maj.-Gen. Dave Enetie told Xinhua that the military was on top of the situation, having cordoned off the area.

"Our men are ground to restore normalcy in the area. We shall make our findings about the twin blasts, and number of casualties, known at the right time. For now, all hands are on deck," said the military commander.

It was not clear whether Boko Haram, a terror group operating in the northern part of Nigeria since 2009, had a hand in the explosions. The group had claimed responsibility for some recent bombings in the West African country.

Tuesday's bombings occurred barely 48 hours after an explosion hit a Christian-dominated area in Nigeria's northern city of Kano on Sunday night, killing five people, according to state officials.

Nigeria is currently grappling with security challenges, one of which is the insurgency of Boko Haram, which seeks to enshrine the Islamic Sharia law in the constitution.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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