Kaduna, Nigeria – Last October 28, a suicide bomber drove a car hoarded with explosives into a Catholic church in northern Nigeria last Sunday, killing at least 8 people, injuring more than a hundred and triggering reprisal attacks that killed at least two more.
According to a witness, the bomber drove straight to the packed St. Rita’s church in the Malali area of Kaduna, a volatile ethnically and religiously mixed city, in the morning.
A spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Yushua Shuaib told the press that 8 people had been confirmed killed and more than 100 injured.
As of today, there was no immediate claim of responsibility although Islamist sect Boko Haram has claimed similar assaults in the past and has attacked several churches with bombs and guns as it intensified its campaign against Christians in the past year.
The massive and destructive explosion also damaged so many buildings around the area.
A wall of the church was blasted open and was burned black, with debris lying around. Police cordoned the area off.
Church assaults has often aimed Nigeria’s middle belt, where its largely Christian south and mostly Muslim north meet and where sectarian tensions run high. Kaduna’s mixed population lies along that fault line.
Approximately 2,800 people have been killed in fighting since Boko Haram’s rebellion began in 2009, according to Human Rights Watch.
Most of the residents of Kaduna went rushing indoors, fearing an increase in the sectarian killing that has periodically stained the city. A bomb attack in a church in Kaduna state last June resulted in a week of violence that killed at least 90 people.