Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Most of the victims of the Christmas Day bomb attack on a church in Madalla, near Nigeria's capital city of Abuja, may be given a mass burial because their bodies were either mutilated or burnt beyond recognition, the private Tribune newspaper reported Tuesday.
At least 24 of such bodies were deposited at the mortuary of the National Hospital in Abuja shortly after the attack.
Though the authorities have not given a definite figure of those who died, rescue officials said the number could range between 35 and 40.
''Mass burial is most likely to be considered as the closest thing to a decent burial for the victims,” the paper quoted a source at the hospital as saying. “Close to 24 bodies were brought in dead on Christmas day. In fact the body count was possible because of the body parts, most of the victims were burnt beyond recognition, while some had their bodies separated by the
impact of the bomb blast.''
Two bombs went off at the St. Theresa's Catholic Church in Madalla as members of the congregation were leaving the church after the early morning mass on Christmas Day.
The impact of the powerful bombs blew off the roof of the church building, incinerated vehicles and left many dead and injured.
The attack, one of several across the northern states targeting churches on the day, has attracted widespread outrage and condemnation both within and outside Nigeria.
In its reaction, the umbrella Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 Northern States and Abuja chapter warned that bombing of churches may trigger religious war in the country, which is almost equally divided between Christians and Muslims.
Speaking with journalists on Monday, the Secretary-General of the association, Elder Saidu Dogo, urged Islamic leaders to call their people to order in order to avert such a war.
“We shall henceforth in the midst of these provocations and wanton destruction of innocent lives and property be compelled to make our own efforts and arrangements to protect the lives of innocent Christians and peace loving citizens of this country,'' he said.
-0- PANA SEG 27Dec2011