So far, 118 bodies have been pulled from the site of two IED explosions that took place at a busy market in the Nigerian city of Jos. While the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram has yet to take credit for the attack there seems to remain little doubt that they are responsible. Video at bottom.
President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the attack as a “tragic assault on human freedom.”
Firefighters and rescuers extinguish a fire at the scene of a bomb blast at Terminus market in Jos, Nigeria pic.twitter.com/VER9aDcdXD
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) May 20, 2014
Jos has previously been the site of Muslim/Christian violence in the form of church bombings two years ago but the civilians killed today were apparently a mixed group in terms of religion and the majority were women.
For more than 10 years this area has been the scene of violent clashes that have often been portrayed as religious conflicts even though they are rooted in competition over land, power and resources. There is, however, a risk that these latest bombings will spark reprisal clashes and religious leaders have appealed for calm.
Given the declaration on the part of several African nations this weekend that they were declaring “total war” on Boko Haram, I believe it’s probably correct to say that these may be the first shots fired in that new war.
— Bill Neely (@BillNeelyNBC) May 20, 2014
It’s noteworthy that the bombings went off 30 minutes apart as well. This is a common tactic designed to bring in first responders including professionals like paramedics and fireman. Setting off the second bomb then has the advantage of killing the first responders as well as any additional people who may have gathered around the scene to help or see what’s going on. It’s terrible.