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Army finds bomb-making material in central Nigeria

Army finds bomb-making material in central Nigeria

A large amount of bomb-making equipment has been found in a restive city in central Nigeria just weeks ahead of national polls, authorities said Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Hassan Umaru said three suspects are being held in connection to the materials found Tuesday in a house in an expensive residential neighborhood in the city of Jos.
Materials included dozens of detonators, lab equipment, a timer and an instructional manual on bomb-making.
"Depending on the combination, this equipment can cause lethal damage anywhere," Umaru said.
The discovery comes two weeks after soldiers stopped trucks loaded with weapons and explosives heading for Jos. Authorities said they carried more than 33,000 pounds (15,000 kilograms) of ammunition along with explosive material, detonators and other equipment used to make bombs.
"We can't leave any room for these items to be used or there will be serious chaos," Umaru said.
He said people "who want to cause confusion" are bringing in ammunition ahead of April polls. Nigerians will vote for a new president on April 9 and new governors on April 16.
Jos is the epicenter of religious violence in Nigeria's "middle belt" where the country's predominantly Muslim north meets a mostly Christian south. Attackers in the region, however, had not been known to use bombs until a few months ago.
"The use of explosive devices is relatively new in the (state) but the December bombings brought in a new dimension in this regard," Umaru said after multiple Christmas Eve bombings in Jos left at least 32 dead last year.
Two bombs went off near a large market where people were doing last-minute Christmas shopping. A third hit a mainly Christian area of Jos, while the fourth was near a road that leads to the city's main mosque.
Violence in Jos, though fractured across religious lines, often has more to do with local politics, economics and rights to grazing lands. The government of Plateau state, where Jos is the capital, is controlled by Christian politicians who have blocked Muslims from being legally recognized as citizens. That has locked many out of prized government jobs in a region where the tourism industry and tin mining have collapsed in the last decades.


Updated : 2021-08-06 01:23 GMT+08:00