(CNN) — The Christmas Eve attacks in the volatile Nigerian city of Jos have claimed at least 31 lives, a bloody aftermath in a region long torn by Christian and Muslim hostility.
Choji Gyang, a special adviser to the governor of the west African country’s Plateau state, confirmed the death toll on Saturday, and said 74 others were wounded.
Most of the injured have serious wounds, and some of them suffered leg amputations.
Seven blasts rippled through the city as residents celebrated Chrismas Eve, four in the Kabong area and three in Angwa Rubuka. Gyang cited a “lapse in security” by a special task force not “doing what they were expected to do.”
“Five different bombs blasts in the heart of Jos. This is the height of insecurity in this city,” Gyang said.
Most of the injured have serious wounds; some of them got both legs amputated and the authorities are concerned about their conditions.
Gyang said no one has claimed responsibility but Islamic fundamentalists are suspected of carrying out the attacks. […]
Gyang, who is special adviser on religious affairs to the governor, said it was unclear who set off the blasts or whether they were related. But the bombs detonated in the “same manner,” Gyang said, and they “all went to where people were concentrated.”
In recent weeks, the governor’s office had received letters purported to be from some Muslim organizations threatening attacks against Christians, Gyang said.
“The security officials didn’t take the threat letters seriously. They were thought of as gimmicks, and at the end of the day, they became reality.”
A special task force sent to Plateau state by the federal government in the preceding two days had gone on radio telling residents to go about their business and not to worry about the security situation in the area, Gyang said….