Suicide bomber attacks Catholic church in Nigeria
Sunday 23 September 2012
A suicide car bomber attacked a Catholic church conducting Mass in northern Nigeria today, killing two and wounding another 45 in a region under assault by a radical Islamist sect, officials said.
An Associated Press journalist heard the explosion after 9am Sunday in the city of Bauchi, which has seen a number of bombings and shootings blamed on the sect known as Boko Haram. The blast appeared to hit a car park alongside the St John's Catholic Church in the city.
Police and military surrounded the church and did not allow journalists inside the cordon. Later at a nearby hospital, Bauchi deputy police commissioner T. Stevens told journalists told that the bomber had been stopped at the church's gate, where he detonated the explosives packed inside his car.
Doctors cautioned more could die from their injuries.
"The situation has been brought under control," Mr Stevens said. "We have our men minding all areas."
Mr Stevens said no group or individual had claimed responsibility for the attack, though suspicion immediately fell on Boko Haram. The sect, whose name means "Western education is sacrilege" in the Hausa language of Nigeria's north, has been waging an increasingly bloody fight against nation's weak central government.
More than 680 people have died in drive-by killings and bombings blamed on Boko Haram this year alone. The sect has demanded the release of all its captive members and has called for strict Shariah law to be implemented across the entire country.
The sect has used suicide car bombs against churches in the past, most noticeably a 2011 Christmas Day attack on a Catholic church in Madalla near Nigeria's capital. That attack and assaults elsewhere in the country killed at least 44 people. An unclaimed car bombing on Easter in Kaduna killed at least 38 people on a busy roadway after witnesses say it was turned away from a church.
Attacks against churches by the sect have waned in recent weeks. Nigeria's military claimed it killed the sect's spokesman and a commander on September 17 outside the city of Kano, potentially shaking up a sect that has continued attacks despite a tighter military presence in northern cities.
The killing of members of the sect's senior leadership comes as the group recently changed some of its tactics and attacked more than 30 mobile phone towers throughout northern Nigeria, disrupting communications in a nation reliant on cellular phones.
Last night, the military conducted door-to-door searches in the northern cities of Damaturu and Potiskum, areas now under a 24-hour curfew that have been hard-hit by the sect.
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...