Suicide bomber kills 2, injures 46 at Nigeria church

A suicide bomber attacked a Catholic church conducting Mass in northern Nigeria on Sunday, killing two people and injuring another 46.

An Associated Press journalist heard the explosion after 9 a.m. Sunday in the city of Bauchi, which has blamed the sect known as Boko Haram for its almost daily shootings and bombings, although there has been no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday's blast. The explosion is said to have hit a parking lot alongside the St. John's Catholic Church.

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Police and military did not allow journalists inside the cordon around the church, but later, at a nearby hospital, Bauchi deputy police commissioner T. Stevens told reporters that the bomber had been stopped at the church's gate, according to the AP. He then detonated the explosives inside his car. Doctors said more people could die from their injuries.

"The situation has been brought under control," Stevens said. "We have our men minding all areas."

Boko Haram doesn't recognize the Nigerian government or the country's constitution, and says it wants to establish a strict Islamic state in the north of the country, reported Voice of America. Human Rights Watch says the group has been responsible for more than 1000 deaths in the past three years, mostly in the north. The US government has also designated three Boko Haram leaders as terrorists.

The group appears to have weakened after a military crackdown, according to Reuters. Militants have not carried out another large-scale, coordinated attack like they did earlier this year. At least 186 people died in attacks across the city of Kano in January.