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Monday, June 4, 2012

Nigeria: 15 killed in a suicide attack against a church in the northeast


Sunday a suicide bomber tried to detonate a car bomb in a church in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least fifteen bystanders in a predominantly Muslim region where Christians are a regular target of attacks by the Islamic sect Boko Haram. The man was dark when approaching a checkpoint near the church in the town of Bauchi, the state of the same name, where security had been tightened after the attacks attributed to Islamist group Boko Haram. At least fifteen people including the bomber, were killed and forty injured, said the regional emergency services. "Following the explosion of the bomb (in the city of Bauchi), the Emergency Operations Team has visited the country for help. She evacuated the victims: 40 people were injured and 15 died "said in a statement the relief agency of Bauchi State. The injured were admitted to a local hospital and police cordoned off the area where the crime was committed, the statement said. "We have a dam near the church which prevented the bomber from accessing its target," the official said the State Police, the Commissioner Momammed Ladan. "He launched his car into a security gate and the vehicle exploded." Residents said the violence of the explosion was collapsing church, located on the outskirts of Bauchi. Witnesses said dozens of people fled after the explosion, some rushing to the fire outside the church. "It was confusion when residents and worshipers tried to flee," said one witness, Timothy Joshua. Another witness, who requested anonymity, said that an alleged accomplice of the bomber was lynched by residents, but police did not confirm this information. Accomplice "abandoned the car in which they came and tried to" flee but was chased by an inhabitant of the faithful and beaten to death, "he told the witness. The attack has not been claimed, but the Islamist group Boko Haram, responsible for numerous attacks that have killed more than a thousand deaths since July 2009, in the past has targeted Christians and churches in the north, especially days of religious celebrations. Nigeria is divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south. Since the election of President Goodluck Jonathan a year ago, Boko Haram has stepped up deadly attacks, expanding its area of ​​operations and diversifying its targets dramatically. After multiplying the assassinations of police and local officials in his stronghold of north-east, the group has perpetrated over the past year a series of suicide bombings in the capital Abuja, aimed at the UN headquarters, the headquarters of the National Police or an influential newspaper. Hundreds of victims are predominantly Muslim but the group has also targeted Christians, churches in central and north. In Bauchi, where violence has in the past opposed the Muslim and Christian, an attack against Boko Haram was a military barracks killed 13 people May 29, 2011, hours after its inauguration by President Goodluck Jonathan. Boko Haram had also organized the escape of prisoners in Bauchi in September 2010, an operation that allowed the escape of hundreds of its members.

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