Lifestyle & Belief

Nigeria: Church suicide bombing kills 8, sparks revenge attacks


Attacks on churches are not uncommon in Nigeria. Above is the debris from a blast at the Holy Cross Church in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna in November 2002.


Pius Utomi Ekpei

Reports say sectarian violence has broken out in northern Nigeria after a suicide bomber struck a church during Sunday mass.

At least eight people were killed and more than 100 wounded in the attack on St. Rita's church in the city of Kaduna, a rescue official told Agence France-Presse.

Meanwhile one of Reuters' reporters saw the bodies of two people apparently killed in revenge attacks.

The violence began at around 8.30 a.m., according to Nigeria's PM News, when the bomber rammed a car packed with explosives through St. Rita's gates.

The blast was powerful enough to damage nearby cars and buildings, reported Information Nigeria, which has a photo showing the church badly burnt out and part of its roof destroyed.

PM News said groups of Christians then armed themselves with sticks and knives and went out to seek revenge, targeting anyone they believed to be a Muslim.

A correspondent for AFP reported seeing one such mob burn a man alive.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing, according to the Associated Press.

Radical Islamist sect Boko Haram has previously carried similar attacks in the area and was rumored to be plotting another to coincide with the Eid al-Adha holiday, the AP said.

In June, the whole of Kaduna state was placed under curfew after Boko Haram bombed multiple churches in coordinated suicide attacks and Christians responded with reprisal attacks on Muslims. As GlobalPost reported at the time, at least 34 people were killed and more than 100 injured.

More from GlobalPost: Boko Haram bombs the media