Nigerian Army Church Hit By Suicide Bombers, 11 Killed


The Nigerian army
said that the two blasts today at a church in the military barracks in Jaji,
Kaduna state were suicide attacks.
“There were twin suicide bombings today at St Andrew Military
Protestant Church (in the town of Jaji),” army spokesman Brigadier General Bola
Koleosho said, saying the attacks were just 10 minutes apart.
Eleven worshippers died according to Koleoso, while 30 people
are on admission in hospital with various degrees of injuries.
The first blast occurred after the church service, according to
another army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman.
But another officer said there were actually two explosions.

“The first blast caused no casualties and curious worshippers
gathered around the scene looking at the debris… and that was when the second
blast happened,” he said.

“Many people were injured but I have not received reports of any
deaths at the moment.”
Jaji lies some 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the state capital
Kaduna city which has been hit in the past by deadly attacks blamed on the
Islamist sect Boko Haram.
The group has often targeted churches in its bloody insurgency,
as well as police and other symbols of the establishment in Nigeria, Africa’s
most populous country which is divided between a mainly Muslim north and a
predominantly Christian south.
The state-run National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said
“rescuers have been alerted to an explosion at a military formation in Kaduna
state today and likely at a worship centre”
Although no group has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s church
blast, the incident was similar to previous attacks blamed on the Islamist
extremist group, called Boko Haram.
Last month, at least 10 people were killed and 145 wounded in a
suicide church bombing and reprisal violence in Kaduna.
Suicide bombings at three churches in June that were claimed by
Boko Haram sparked reprisal violence by Christian mobs who killed dozens of
their Muslim neighbours, burning some of their victims’ bodies.
Muslim groups also formed mobs and killed several Christians.
Apart from churches, security forces, government officials, and
other symbols of authority have been targeted by Boko Haram fighters.
The group’s insurgency in northern and central Nigeria is
believed to have left some 3,000 people dead since 2009, including killings by
the security forces.
Boko Haram claims to be seeking an Islamic state in Nigeria,
Africa’s largest oil producer.
However, its demands have repeatedly shifted and it is believed
to include various factions with differing aims, in addition to imitators and
criminal gangs that carry out violence while posing as members of the group.
On Friday, the army declared 19 leaders of the sect wanted,
placing a reward of between N50m and N10m for information that could lead to
their capture.
Source: PMNews


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