Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has condemned Sunday's suicide bombing of St. Finbar's Catholic Church in the northern city of Jos, and expressed his "sincerest and heartfelt commiserations" to the families of the victims of the bomb attack that left at least five persons dead.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, President Jonathan urged Nigerians not to despair or be discouraged by the persistence of the attacks, in spite of government’s efforts to deal decisively with the menace of terrorism within the country’s borders.
"(This is) because despite seeming appearances to the contrary, government is indeed winning the war against the terrorists and will continue to progressively destroy their ability to unleash murderous attacks on peaceful, law-abiding Nigerians.
"In this regard, it is worthy of note that in recent weeks, national security agencies have identified and arrested more of these agents of darkness than at any other time. Their hideouts and modus operandi are also being consistently exposed," he said.
President Jonathan called on the populace to "remain patient and refrain from taking matters into their own hands through actions such as reprisal attacks, as Government continues to take the battle to the merchants of terror and close in on their locations, funding and sponsors".
According to eyewitnesses, two suicide bombers rammed their explosive-laden vehicle into the gate of the church, located at the high-brow Rayfield area of the city, 10 minutes into the 10 am (local time) mass, killing three persons instantly and injuring dozens more. The attackers also died in the blast.
It was the second such attack on a church in Jos in as many months, following last month's attack on the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) that left at least six dead and 50 injured.
In the worst attack on a church in Nigeria so far, 44 people were killed when suicide bombers targeted a Catholic Church in Madalla, near the capital city of Abuja, on the last Christmas Day.
The Islamic sect Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack.
-0- PANA SEG/MA 11March2012