At least 4 killed, several injured in northern Nigeria church explosionSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 29/10/2012 12:04 am in World / no comments
KADUNA, Nigeria, Oct. 28 — At least four persons have been killed and several others were injured in an early morning explosion which rocked St. Rita Catholic Church in Malaila area of northern Nigeria’s Kaduna State during Sunday mass, a top Red cross official told Xinhua on Sunday.
Although the zonal coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the northwest region of Nigeria Musa Ilalah had told Xinhua on phone that casualty figures were yet to be established, a Red cross senior official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that four people have, so far, been confirmed dead.
“Three people, including the suicide bomber, died at the explosion site while one other person was confirmed dead in one of the hospitals where the victims were rushed to. Several people including the Reverend Fathers of the church were seriously injured and parts of the church were seriously damaged,” said the Red Cross official.
The official casualty figures might increase before the end of the day as rescue officials have been shuttling between the explosion site and the health facilities were the victims are being treated, the official added.
“A number of casualties have been evacuated to hospitals in the state by our officials,” said the national spokesperson of NEMA Yushau Shuaib who earlier confirmed the incident in a text message.
According to the NEMA official, the Sunday morning explosion occurred when a suicide bomber rammed his vehicle into the church gate.
Security operatives have also been deployed to cordon-off the area, Shuaib added.
So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the Sunday morning bomb attack which occurred barely two days after Muslims in the country and worldwide celebrated the annual Eid-el-Kabir festival. However, similar attacks had been perpetrated by the Islamic Boko Haram sect which operates mainly in northern and central parts of Nigeria.
Over 1,500 people have been killed since 2009 when the sect launched its violent attacks in northern Nigeria, according to the latest report by the Human Rights Watch (HRW).