Terrorism

Priest, Members Escape As Fleeing Gunmen Throws Bomb Into Catholic Church in Taraba

Muhammed Abubakar, Reporting

A Catholic priest/principal and some of his students, Monday evening, escaped death by the whiskers as a fleeing gang of gunmen threw an explosive device into Catholic Chapel of St. John’s College, Mutum-Biyu, the headquarters of Gassol Local Government Area.

The explosive blew up the building around 7:20 p.m after, police said, the hoodlums were frustrated in a futile attempt to abduct a fuel station manager in the area.

The Principal of the College, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Vershima Ikyaan, told The PUNCH that “We thank God no life was lost, but the Church has been destroyed.

“About 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 doubled as the school hall and had left the premises shortly before the explosion.

“This is a religious premises and if attacks like these are 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.”

The Taraba State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Abdullahi Usman, confirmed the attack in a telephone interview.

“What happened was that some kidnappers came to kidnap 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 explosive blew up and caused some damage to the building,” Usman said.

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