Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

France's Plan to Tackle Racism

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Marine Le Pen and Thomas Piketty in Time magazine's power list; EU takes on Google; Gunter Grass dies (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deadly Crossing: Migrants desperate to reach Europe; Abadi in Washington (part 1)

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Xenophobic attacks in South Africa: anti-violence marches and anti immigration protest

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French PM outlines action plan against racism, anti-Semitism

Read more

REPORTERS

Turkey’s hidden Armenians search for stolen identity

Read more

REVISITED

Families of slain Marikana miners still demanding justice

Read more

#TECH 24

Europe vs. Google: EU accuses search giant of market dominance abuse

Read more

#THE 51%

Women in America: Land of the free, home to the less-paid

Read more

Africa

Car bomb targets church services in central city of Jos

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-02-26

A car bomb targeted a church during Sunday services in the central Nigerian city of Jos, killing two people. It is the latest in a series of deadly attacks in recent months, most of them claimed by Islamist group Boko Haram.

REUTERS - A suicide bomber drove a car packed with explosives into a church in the Nigerian city of Jos on Sunday, killing two people and wounding 38, and Christian youths beat two Muslims to death in revenge.

A Reuters reporter at the scene of the blast saw two of the bodies, which police said included the suicide bomber, who had rammed his Volkswagen into the church before detonating the explosives.
 
Security forces cordoned off the area, while Christian youths set up a roadblock where they dragged the two Muslim men off their motorbikes and beat them to death, police said.
 
The Reuters reporter saw the bodies of the two men on the roadside in Jos, a city flanked by volcanic boulders in Nigeria’s rocky “Middle Belt”, where its largely Christian south and mostly Muslim north meet.
 
Ethnic and religious tensions run high in the city and other parts of the surrounding region, which has seen hundreds killed in bouts of intercommunal violence in the past decade.
 
“NEMA (the National Emergency Management Agency) confirms three dead in suspected suicide car explosion in Jos today, including the bomber whose body was shredded to pieces,” NEMA spokesman Yushua Shuaib said by text message.
 
“As of now 38 victims have been admitted to hospital for treatment. NEMA and the Red Cross have completed evacuation (of the church).”
 
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, but Islamist militant group Boko Haram has targeted churches as part of its growing campaign of violence against the government.
 
“I heard a loud explosion near the church and I hit the ground. It shook buildings,” local resident Ishayaa Makut said.
 
Sectarian tension
 
Attacks on churches have raised fears the sect, styled on the Taliban whose name means “Western education is forbidden”, is trying to ignite sectarian strife in Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer.
 
Another bomb exploded near a church in the Nigerian town of Suleja, on the edge of the capital Abuja, on Sunday, wounding five people.   
 
In controlled explosions, police detonated two bombs on Sunday that had been planted at the police barracks in Gombe, a northeastern city that had been largely free of the Islamist insurgency until this weekend, Gandi Orubebe, police commissioner for Gombe, said by telephone.
 
On Friday, Gombe was shaken a series of explosions as gunmen attempted a prison break that killed 12 people.
 
Boko Haram, which wants sharia law more widely applied across the continent’s most populous nation, has become increasingly sophisticated and deadly in its methods in the past six months. It has widened its targets beyond attacks on police and other authority figures to include Christians.
 
Its fighters rarely use suicide bombers. The first proven case of such a tactic was last August, when a Boko Haram militant drove a vehicle full of explosives into the U.N.  headquarters in Abuja, killing 25 people.
 
A series of bombs struck churches in Nigeria on Christmas Day, including one which hit a Catholic Church in Madala, just outside Abuja, killing 37 people and wounding 57, and one in Jos. Boko Haram claimed the blasts.
 
The country of 160 million is split roughly evenly between Christians and Muslims, who mostly live side by side in peace.

 

Date created : 2012-02-26

  • NIGERIA

    Boko Haram has links to al Qaeda, Nigeria's military chief says

    Read more

  • NIGERIA

    Fresh attacks against police in flashpoint city of Kano

    Read more

  • NIGERIA

    Can talking to Boko Haram give peace a chance?

    Read more

COMMENT(S)