Abuja: At least 19 worshippers were killed when members of a radical Islamist sect Boko Haram opened indiscriminate fire at an evangelical church during a service in Northern Nigeria on Tuesday.
The attack took place a few hours after the group claimed responsibility for suicide attack which claimed the lives of six military men and two civilians in Nigeria's northern city of Damaturu on Sunday.
Boko Haram sect members opened fire inside a Deeper Life Church during a service today in the northern state of Kogi, police said.
"The gunmen arrived at the church with assorted arms and started shooting sporadically at everyone just as the worshippers were prevented from escaping by the men who blocked every escape route," a witness said.
Police spokesman Simon Ile, confirmed the attack adding that 15 people died on the spot while four died on their way to the hospital.
According to him, the pastor of the church located in Okene town also died during the shooting.
On Sunday, eight people were killed by a suicide bomber at police checkpoint in Nigeria's city of Damaturu just as Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram, which claims most of the bombings in the country, chided United States for including him on the list of global terrorists.
Boko Haram, carries out frequent attacks in northern Nigeria. The group has been waging a sustained war in Nigeria's northern cities in their bid to install an Islamic emirate in the country.
On January, the sect attacked the city of Kano killing more than 180 persons. In several of the sects attacks, bombs, suicide bombers and drive by gun shots have been used to kill hundreds of people.
The oil rich African country has a population of 150 million equally divided among Christians and Muslims.
First Published: Tuesday, August 07, 2012, 21:04