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Suspected Bandits Attack Taraba Community, Blow Up Church

Explosives suspected to have been planted by bandits have exploded at the St. John’s Catholic Church in Mutum Biyu, the headquarters of Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State.

This is coming barely 24 hours after suspected terrorists killed three persons in Wuro Bokki Community in the same local government area.

The Principal of the College, Reverend Father Emmanuel Vershima, stated that the explosion occurred at about 7:30pm on Sunday.

He explained that he also heard sporadic gunshots within Mutum Biyu town, 15 minutes after the explosion at the church.

”We are very lucky and can heave a sigh of relief,” the clergyman said. “This is because the youths and some students held a programme in the chapel which doubles as the school hall and left the premises shortly before the explosion took place.

”We are shocked that such could happen at a religious ground, despite all the moves for peace to reign in the state. All I want to do is call for a thorough investigation to unravel those behind the attack and that the perpetrators be brought to book.”

The Taraba State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Usman, who also confirmed the incident, said the attack was carried out by kidnappers.

“What happened was that some kidnappers came to abduct the owner of a filling station in the town,” he narrated. “Unfortunately for them, they could not achieve their mission and in the process of running to escape being trapped by youths and the vigilante group, they started shooting sporadically.

“In the process, they threw up an explosive into the church to cause fear to enable them to escape. The explosion blew up and caused some damages to the building.”

Usman revealed that a discrete investigation into the incident has already been launched and assured residents that the attackers would be arrested.

He also called on the people to remain calm and continue their lawful businesses, saying all hands were on deck to prevent a repeat of such an incident.

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