Suicide car bombing kills 15 in Nigerian church



Abuja: At least 15 people were killed and 85 others injured when a suicide car bomber rammed his explosive laden vehicle into a Catholic church holding Mass in a northern Nigerian city on Sunday.

The bomber approached the gate of St Rita's Catholic Church in Malali area in a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) and tried to drive in but was denied access, local Leadership newspaper reported quoting its sources.

He then reversed the car and used the back to ram against the gate which caved in as a loud explosion followed, the report said.

The spokesman of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Yushua Shuaib, who confirmed the incident said that he wouldn't give any figure on casualties but added that police and soldiers have surrounded the church.

But the newspaper said at least 15 people were killed and 85 others injured in the attack.

A witness told a news agency that the explosion occurred while service was going on.

He said the bomber was killed and that the officiating priest was suspected to be among the injured or dead.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, but such attacks are often blamed on the Boko Haram militant group, which has threatened to install Islamic government in the oil-rich African country.

In June, Boko Haram attacked three churches in Kaduna. At least 50 people were killed in the bombings and the reprisals that followed.

PTI