NO fewer than 40 persons were feared killed on Sunday in Kaduna and Zaria as suicide bombers attacked three churches.
While it was learnt that about 15 persons were killed in the attacks on two churches in Zaria and a church in Kaduna, 25 persons were believed to have been killed in reprisals by angry youths in the two major cities.
A source told our correspondent that over 40 people were seriously injured and were rushed to the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika in Zaria and St. Louis, Wusasa.
However, the exact figure of those that died in the Kaduna blast at the Shalom Pentecostal Church were still unknown as at the time of filing this report.
The churches affected included the Christ the King Catholic Church at the Sabo Gari area of Zaria, the second at the second ECWA Goodnews Church while the one in Kaduna occurred at the Shalom Pentecostal Church along the Western Bye Pass, Trikania.
Another source, who craved anonymity , claimed that he counted 12 corpses from the explosion at the CKC.
Reverend Nathan Waziri told newsmen that they were at the middle of the services when they heard a commotion outside the church.
He explained that the members went out to find out the cause of the confusion when there was an explosion.
He said the church lost three of its members in the explosion which occurred at about 9.00am.
Waziri accused the government of complicity in the latest bombing of worshipers. “Just yesterday, the Army post near the church was withdrawn and we are suspecting the government was aware; if not, why withdrawing the post and the men,” he said.
No sooner had the news filtered into the cities than angry youths started making bonfire in the Sabon Tasha, Television, Trikania and other Christian dominated parts of Kaduna.
Illegal roadblocks were mounted along major roads in the metropolis. Irked by the bombings, youths chased away Hausa traders within the vicinity.
As churches hurriedly closed, commercial vehicles and motorcyclists ran in different directions. Most people, especially worshipers, trekked to their various homes as there was no means of transport.
Already, tension had spread all over the state as residents openly expressed anger over the incessant attacks, especially on christian worshippers.
In a reprisal, an Okada operator was feared dead while scores of his colleagues abandoned their motorcycles and fled.
Residents of the southern part of Kaduna were confined to their houses just as unconfirmed report had it that a police station at the Romi area of the state was burnt by irate youths.
Meanwhile, the state government has imposed a 24-hour curfew on the state to prevent the escalation of the crisis.
In a statement by Governor Patrick Yakowa’s Senior Special Assistance on Media, Mr. Reuben Buhari, the governor condemned the unfortunate bombing of three churches in the state.
Yakowa said, “In view of the incidents and the need to have complete normalcy and to forestall further breakdown of law and order, the state government has imposed a 24-hour curfew in the whole state.
“The curfew hours start with immediate effect until further notice.
“Government regrets the inconveniences this drastic measure will cause to all and sundry. But the state government considers this to be necessary in other to averts further lost of lives and properties in the state again. The state government has directed the security agencies to enforce compliance.”