Nigeria: 34 killed in church bombings
Abuja: At least 34 people were killed and 90 others injured in suicide bomb attacks targeting churches in northern Nigeria on Sunday, witnesses said.
Suicide bombers targeted four churches in a series of attacks that also prompted reprisal attacks by Christian youth against local Muslims.
In all, two churches were attacked in Kaduna city while another two were bombed in a nearby Zaria city.
In Zaria town, two churches were bombed as a bomber drove into Christ the King Catholic Church (CKC), Sabon Gari, and a similar attack took place at the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Wusasa.
"The corpses that were brought to Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital were about 18, about 40 other people who were injured were also brought to the hospital," a hospital worker said on condition of anonymity.
At St Gerald Catholic Hospital Kakuri, Kaduna, hospital workers disclosed that 11 corpses and over 50 injured persons were brought to the Hospital.
"I cannot confirm if the bodies include both victims of the bomb and reprisal attacks," spokesman of the hospital, John Ali, said.
An eyewitness at Shalom Pentecostal Church, Trikani, Kaduna also said that five people were killed after a suicide bomber collided with the church gate but could not confirm where the corpses were kept.
Following reports of violence, the government imposed a
24-hour curfew to prevent the situation from going out of hand.
Red Cross officials in the city said in a church located in Zaria town, most of those killed or wounded were children.
While no group claimed responsibility so far, similar attacks in the past have been blamed on radical Islamic sect Boko Haram.
Kaduna state has previously seen attacks by Boko Haram.
Last Sunday, the group attacked two church services, sparking violence which killed seven people. Hundreds have died in its previous attacks on churches.
Boko Haram says it wants Islamic sharia law in place across Nigeria and analysts suggest it is trying to trigger clashes between Christians and Muslims.
A country of 150 million people, Nigeria's population is equally divided between Christians and Muslims.