Nigerian police said Saturday they have detonated a mega bomb in Jos, a central flashpoint city wracked by ethnic unrest and attacks blamed on the Islamist group Boko Haram.
“The police anti-bomb squad successfully recovered, disarmed, defused and evacuated the improvised explosive device … planted by terrorists,” Plateau State police spokesman Emmanue Abuh said.
He said the bomb was discovered late Thursday in an area of the city called Congo Russia after most residents had gone to bed.
It was the second time in a week that a planted bomb will be so detonated by anti-bomb squad of the command.
A statement by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Command, Deputy Superintendent Abuh Emmanuel, said the command “wishes to intimate members of the public on the incident that occurred in Jos North Local Government area yesterday (Thursday), July 5, 2012 at about 2350hours when suspected terrorists planted Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at Congo Russia.
“However, there was a distress call from the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Nasarawa Gwong Division, Chief Superintendent John Edeh which prompted the Police Anti-Bomb Squad led by Assistant Superintendent Abel Mbibi to respond and moved swiftly to the scene of the incident.”
The statement added: “The Police Anti-Bomb Squad successfully recovered, disarmed, defused and evacuated the Improvised Explosive Devices otherwise called Bombs planted by the terrorists. There was no casualty or damage to property. No arrest has been made in connection with the incident yet, but police have intensified efforts to track down the hoodlums.”
The statement conveyed the appreciation of the Commissioner of the Plateau State Command, Mr. Emmanuel Diipo Ayeni, to the people of Congo Russia who was said to be highly delighted with the manner members of the public reacted to the incident, admonishing them to keep the tempo. It was reported that members of the public remained calm and refused to be provoked by the incident.
The statement once again enjoined members of the public to report to the police and other security agencies any suspicious movement of criminal elements as that is used by the security agencies to nip in the bud the criminal activities of terrorists in the state.
It adds that “apart from that, we want to assure members of the public that the State Police Command in tandem with other security agencies are capable of providing adequate and comprehensive security on the Plateau. Therefore, you should go about your lawful duties without any form of intimidation.”
Jos and its environs have been hit by repeated violence between Muslims and Christians in recent years.
The area has also witnessed gun and bomb attacks attributed to Boko Haram.
Last week, police foiled a bid to blow up a bridge in the area.
Plateau State lies in the so-called middle belt region dividing the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south of Africa’s most populous nation and top oil producer.