Nigeria: Militants kill seven in church attack
Published 11 June 2012
Attacks on two churches in Nigeria on Sunday have left seven people dead.
The BBC reports that at least 50 people were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside a church in Jos, in the central Plateau State.
In a separate attack, gunmen opened fire during a Sunday service in Biu, in the northeastern Borno state.
Militant Islamist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
The attacks were followed by angry protests on the streets of Jos in which a further six people died.
According to Reuters news agency, Hamidu Wakawa said that gunmen started firing at people outside the church in Biu “before going into the main buildings to carry on their killings”.
Police spokesman in Jos, Abuh Emmanuel told Reuters that the suicide bomber was in front of the church when he blew himself up.
“The church building collapsed entirely due to the intensity of the bombing,” he said.
Christian youths reportedly set up roadblocks following the bombings. Emmanuel Davou told Reuters that police “had to force their way out by shooting in the air to disperse them”.
The Anglican Archbishop of Jos, Ben Kwashi, condemned the attack.
He was quoted by the BBC as saying: “We’ve been working with Muslim leaders, Roman Catholic bishops, and myself and many other church leaders, and we have worked so very hard – and this kind of terrorism just takes us back again.”
Boko Haram has demanded that Christians leave the largely Muslim north of the country, where it wants to establish Sharia law.
The militant group was behind a Christmas Day attack on the St Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Suleja, in which at least 44 people died.
Other targets have included government buildings, police stations and schools.