Nigeria: Boko Haram Car Bombs Meant For Easter Church Services Kill 18 — Update: Body Count Rises To 50…

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Nigeria: Boko Haram Car Bombs Meant For Easter Church Services Kill 18 — Update: Body Count Rises To 50…

 

Easter wishes, Islamist-style.

(BBC) — Two car bombs have exploded in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, killing several people and injuring many others, officials say.

The Nigerian Red Cross said six people had died. The emergency services had earlier put the number of dead at 18.

The blasts, which caused extensive damage, happened close to restaurants, a hotel and at least one church.

The area has been the scene of a religious conflict in recent years that has claimed hundreds of lives.

There had been warnings of attacks in the region over Easter.

Witnesses say debris was thrown dozens of metres from the centre of the blast.

No one has yet admitted carrying out the bombing, but the BBC’s correspondent in Nigeria, Mark Lobel, says the radical Islamist group Boko Haram recently said it would carry out attacks in the area over the Easter holiday.

Local Christian groups have speculated that the bombers were targeting a nearby church, but that heavy security meant they detonated their explosives in a nearby area instead.

Update:

(PTI) — At least 50 people were killed when explosives concealed in two cars went off near a church during Easter Sunday services in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, eye-witnesses said.

Shehu Sani, the President of Civil Rights Congress based in Kaduna, said two explosions took place at the Assemblies of God’s Church near the centre of the city with a large Christian population and known as a major cultural and economic centre in Nigeria’s north.

“There were two explosions and the casualty figure may go up because some injuries were really critical,” he said on phone.

Another resident of the city, Miss Blessing Audu said that the explosion has caused panic among Christians celebrating Easter.

She said some parts of the church were damaged even as the vibration caused by the explosives were heard in several parts of the city.

An emergency worker on condition of anonymity explained that the bombs were planted in two cars near the church.

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