Twin suicide attacks at church kill 11 in Nigeria
Two suicide bombers targeted a church inside a military barrack in northern Nigeria, killing at least 11 people and injuring several others.
Abuja: Two suicide bombers targeted a church inside a military barrack in northern Nigeria on Sunday, killing at least 11 people and injuring several others as worshipers were returning after a Sunday mass.
The attack occurred at St Andrews Military Protestant Church located inside Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Jaji in the northern Kaduna state.
The blasts occurred in quick succession as the church was finishing the service. The second blast occurred at the same spot minutes after the first one had rocked the area.
An officer described the incident as embarrassing because the bombers drove their way into a military cantonment without being detected.
Reports said 11 people were killed and 30 others were injured in the attack.
"The first bomber denoted his explosive inside the church and after the initial confusion was just settling and folks had started gathering to think of helping out, the second bomber exploded his car right in the midst of intending first aiders and survivors of the first (blast) who were rushing out," a military officer told a news agency on condition of anonymity.
Suspicion immediately fell on fundamentalist Islamic group, Boko Haram, which has been carrying out series of bombings in northern Nigeria.
The government of President Goodluck Jonathan has sent a special Joint Task Force (JTF) made up of police and Army personnel to fight the group that has vowed to establish an Islamic caliphate in the region. In June, at least 50 people were killed in bombings in Kaduna and the reprisal attacks that followed. Seven people died last month in a suicide bombing at another church.
Last week, Nigerian security authorities offered to pay a sum of USD 1.8 million to anybody who offers useful information about the leadership of Boko Haram.
The Joint Task Force (JTF) mentioned 19 persons at the headship of the organisation which has killed thousands of persons since their terror operation started in 2009 including its self proclaimed leader, Abubakar Shekau.
Nigeria, a secular state, has equal populations of Muslims and Christians. While Muslims are in majority in the north, Christians are predominant in the south.