A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Catholic church in the Nigerian city of Jos on Sunday, killing at least three people and as many as 10 who were attending mass, according to Agence France Presse. It was the second suicide bombing on a church in the flashpoint city in the last two weeks, after the Islamic extremist sect Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a February 26 attack that killed three people and injured 50 during another Sunday service.
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The attack hit Jos's St. Finbar's Catholic Church in central Nigeria, reported CNN. The American news site received photos from Mark Lipdo, program coordinator for the Stefanos Foundation for persecuted Christians in Nigeria, which showed a charred crater in the pavement, a vehicle bumper in the road and smoke rising in the distance.
Security at the gate of the church's compound stopped a suspicious car and the bomber detonated his explosives during an altercation that followed, reported the Associated Press. The blast damaged the church's roof, blew out its windows and destroyed a portion of the fence surrounding the compound.
Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is forbidden," wants Sharia law more widely applied across Nigeria, according to Reuters. The group's bombings have raised fears that it is trying to ignite sectarian conflict in Africa's most populous country, which is split between Christians and Muslims.