From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
There is growing tension in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State as terrorists blew up a Catholic church barely 24 hours after killing three persons in the area.
An improvised explosive device (IED) suspected to have been planted by the terrorists blew up at the Catholic Chapel of St. John’s College, Mutum-Biyu, the headquarters of Gassol LGA, on Sunday.
This is coming less than 24 hours after the terrorists, who were dressed in a military attire, attacked and killed at least three persons in Wuro Bokki village in Gassol LGA.
Principal of the college, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Vershima Ikyaan, told journalists that the explosion went up when there were no worshipers or visitors in the church.
The priest said, “We thank God that no life was lost, but the church has been destroyed. Like 10 minutes after the explosion in the school, we started hearing gunshots in the town.
“The youths and some students were holding a programme in the chapel, which double as the school hall and left the premises shortly before the explosion.
“This is a religious premises and if attacks like this is happening to the Church, where will people run to? I want to call for a thorough investigation to unravel those behind the attack and the perpetrators brought to book,” he said.
Taraba State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abdullahi Usman, in a telephone interview with our correspondent ,said, “what happened was that some kidnappers came to abduct the owner of one filling station in the town, unfortunately for them, they could not achieve their mission.
“In the process of running to escape being trapped, they started shooting sporadically to escape. It was in the process that they threw an explosive into the church to cause fear to enable them to escape. The explosion blew up and caused some damages to the building,” he said.
The terrorists who stormed Wuro Bokki village ,have left over a thousand villagers displaced.
Alhaji Musa Abdulahi, the LGA chairman who confirmed the development to newsmen during a telephone charts disclosed that, the bandits who stormed the village in a large number and burnt down eleven houses during the operation before they returned to their base.
He alleged that the bandits have camp in a forest between Sendede and Gassol wards of the local government.
Governor Darius Ishaku had earlier raised the alarm over the influx of strange persons into the state alleging that they were bandits from other states that were establishing camps in the state.