3 church blasts rock Nigeria

2012-06-17 16:01

Lagos - Three church blasts rocked a northern Nigerian state on Sunday, officials said, prompting protests in a state that has previously been strained by religious tensions.

The first two blasts hit churches in the city of Zaria, said Kaduna State police spokesperson Aminu Lawan. National Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Yushau Shuaib said the third explosion rocked the city of Kaduna.

Neither spokesperson could say how many people may have been killed or hurt.

A Nigerian Red Cross report said rescuers are still trying to get victims of the Zaria attacks to nearby hospitals. The report said young people have started protesting in Zaria, raising fears that Sunday's church attacks could further inflame a state strained by religious tensions.

Churches have been increasingly targeted by violence in Nigeria, a nation of more than 160 million people. An Easter Day blast in Kaduna left at least 38 people dead. A Christmas Day suicide bombing of a Catholic church in Madalla near Nigeria's capital killed at least 44 people.

Authorities said they had no immediate suspects for Sunday's attacks, though a radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram has claimed similar attacks in the past. More than 560 people have been killed in violence blamed on the sect this year alone, according to an Associated Press count.

Kaduna state, which sits on Nigeria's dividing line between its largely Christian south and Muslim north, was at the heart of post-election violence in April 2011. Mobs armed with machetes and poison-tipped arrows took over streets of Kaduna and the state's rural countryside after election officials declared President Goodluck Jonathan the winner.

Followers of his main opponent, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, quickly alleged the vote had been rigged, though observers largely declared the vote fair.

According to Human Rights Watch, at least 800 were killed in the post-election violence. Of the 800, at least 680 people were killed in Kaduna State alone.

  • henry.ogoke1 - 2012-06-17 16:28

    For how long will citizens of this country remain refugees?Y is it impossible to nail d sponsors of dis incessant bombings

      nkazaure3 - 2012-06-18 13:52

      The Nigeria government remains the responsible for the death of thousands Nigerians because neither christian nor muslim enjoy what is happening

  • ajileye.johonsonolatunbosun - 2012-06-17 16:29

    I am of the opinion that Oga Jona is enjoying the action of BokoHaram because if this is happening in other West Africa nations, he will deploy Nigerian Army there, why is looking at this sect without ordering shoot at sight at them.

  • valerie.macdonald3 - 2012-06-17 16:32

    Have a mercy Lord.

      zaatheist - 2012-06-17 19:17

      The Lord is confused. Both the Muslims and Christians worship him, but kill each other over difference as to the best method to flatter the mean spirited, spiteful murderous insecure deity.

  • Sunday Jude - 2012-06-17 18:00

    my God will fight for those that have lost there lives, Government be warned if nothing is done we chritains will rise. but the evil men will always fall

      zaatheist - 2012-06-17 19:21

      The way you spell Christians makes it look like cretins. Your god is a gutless useless do nothing sissy.

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