19 killed at Nigeria Bible study

2012-08-07 21:50
Nigeria violence victim. (Tony Collins, AP)

Nigeria violence victim. (Tony Collins, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Abuja - Three men came to the central Nigerian church just before Bible study began, but instead of joining the worship service they opened fire, killing at least 19 people in an attack that shows that violence already seen elsewhere in the divided nation is spreading.

Witnesses and the military described a chaotic, blood-soaked scene at the Deeper Life church in Otite, a quiet neighbourhood on the outskirts of the city of Okene, 250km southwest of Nigeria's capital Abuja.

Two gunmen sprayed the windowless sanctuary on Monday night with fire from Kalashnikov assault rifles, said  Gabriel Olorunyomi, the head of a local joint army and police unit. Another armed man stayed back and switched off the generator providing lights in the church, leaving those inside unable to flee as the gunfire flashed through the darkness, witness Lawan Saliu said.

Saliu spoke from a hospital bed on Tuesday after sustaining a gunshot wound to his stomach.

It remained unclear how many people were wounded in the attack. Olorunyomi said some of the injured sought care in hospitals, while others remained at home. A rescue official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as officials had yet to publicly release casualty numbers, said there probably were less than 20 people wounded in the attack.

Soldiers and police officers searched for gunmen through the night, but had made no arrests as of Tuesday afternoon, Kogi state police spokesperson Simon Ile said. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack comes as Nigeria faces continuing attacks from a radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram. Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is sacrilege" in the Hausa language of Nigeria's Muslim north, has attacked churches in the past. They have also attacked mosques.

Although they have not previously claimed responsibility for attacks on places of worship this far south, authorities have said they raided a bomb factory run by suspected sect members in Okene in April. They also blamed Boko Haram for a February prison break in the town of Koton-Karifi , also in Kogi state that freed 119 inmates.

That attack mirrored a massive prison break in the northeastern city of Bauchi in September 2010 when Boko Haram freed about 700 inmates.

The sect is blamed for more than 660 killings this year alone in Nigeria, according to an Associated Press count.

Nigeria, a nation of more than 160 million people, is largely divided into a Muslim north and Christian south. While members of the two faiths often live and work together, as well as intermarry, Boko Haram attacks have increased religious tensions in the nation over the last year.

- AP
Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  religion  |  west africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.