JOS, Nigeria (AFP) – A bomb carried by two men aboard a motorcycle killed them on Sunday when it accidentally exploded in the tense central Nigerian city of Jos, police and witnesses said.
"Two men were riding a motorcycle allegedly carrying explosives. They had not got to their destination whilst still on the bike, the explosives went off and killed the two men," Plateau State police commissioner Abdulrahman Akano told AFP.
He said the incident happened Sunday morning at Nasarawa Gwom, a mainly Christian district of Jos, the capital of Plateau State.
"When Christian youths got wind of what happened they were angry and burnt the two corpses into ashes," he said.
A witness, Baba Nasarawa, also confirmed the incident.
"The two men on a motorcycle were heading towards Angwan Rukuba when the bomb fell off and exploded, killing them on the spot," he told AFP.
He said no other person was hurt in the incident, the latest to hit the violence-wracked city of Jos, scene of deadly Christmas Eve bombings.
Another source told AFP that an alleged bomb that was planted behind the Evangelical Church of West Africa in the city failed to detonate Sunday morning.
Akano however said there were no indications that the explosives that killed the two motorcycle riders were meant for a particular church in the volatile city, notorious for frequent clashes between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups.
He said the military special task force and the police had restored normalcy to the area.
Jos and its environs have been hit by waves of violence involving Christian and Muslim ethnic groups in recent years that have claimed hundreds of lives.
The state is located in the so-called middle belt between the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south of Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with some 150 million inhabitants.
Last week, soldiers intercepted a truckload of explosives heading into Jos ahead of next month's general elections.
Nigeria holds presidential, state and legislative elections in April in a test of whether it can break with a history of deeply flawed and violent polls.
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