A suicide bomber drove a jeep full of explosives into a Catholic church during morning mass in northern Nigeria on Sunday, killing at least eight people, wounding more than 100 and triggering reprisal attacks that killed at least two more.
There was no claim of responsibility but Islamist sect Boko Haram has bombed several churches in the past in its fight to create an Islamic state in Nigeria where the 160 million population is evenly split between Christians and Muslims.The bomber drove the car into the wall of the packed St Rita’s church in the Malali area of Kaduna, a volatile ethnically and religiously mixed city, witnesses said.
A wall of the church was blasted open and scorched black, with debris lying around.
“The heavy explosion also damaged so many buildings around the area,” said survivor Linus Lighthouse.
A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Yushua Shuaib said eight people had been confirmed killed and more than 100 wounded.
Church attacks often target Nigeria’s middle belt, where its largely Christian south and mostly Muslim north meet and where sectarian tensions run high. Kaduna’s mixed population lies along that faultline.