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Suicide bomber kills 15 at Nigerian church



Boko Haram, the radical Islamist terror group that has been linked to al Qaeda and its affiliate in north Africa, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, carried out yet another suicide attack at a church in Nigeria. From AFP:

A suicide bomber who tried to drive an explosives-packed car into a church in Bauchi on Sunday killed at least 15 , 40 injured after suicide blast at Nigeria church: rescue agency people, including himself, and injured 40, officials said.

Speeding up his vehicle, the attacker approached a checkpoint near the church in Bauchi State, which has previously been hit by Islamist group Boko Haram and where tension between Muslims and Christians has led to violence in the past.

"We have a checkpoint not far from the church which prevented the bomber from gaining access to his target," said state police commissioner Mohammed Ladan.

"So he rammed the car into a security gate and the car exploded, killing him and eight other people," he added.

"Many people were injured but I can't give you any precise number because the hospital is still trying to take a toll."

Witnesses said the force of the blast near the Harvest Field of Christ Church on the outskirts of Bauchi city caused the building to collapse on the worshippers inside" he added.

Boko Haram has carried out at least seven suicide attacks this year [see list below]. Their targets have been churches, newspapers, government officials, and security forces. In previous years, the terror group has conducted several other attacks; the most high-profile suicide attack targeted the United Nations headquarters in the Nigerian capital of Abuja in August 2011.

Earlier this year, Boko Haram stated that it seeks "to eradicate Christians" from areas in Nigeria. The group has a penchant for targeting Christians at churches, especially on religious holidays.

Boko Haram suicide attacks in 2012:

  • June 3, 2012 - A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed 15 people an attack on a church in Bauchi.
  • April 30, 2012 - A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed 11 people and wounded more than 20 in an attack on a police convoy in Jalingo, the capital of Taraba state.
  • April 26, 2012 - The editor of ThisDay confirmed that a suicide bomber drove a jeep into the newspaper's office in Abuja, killing two people.
  • April 8, 2012 - Boko Haram killed 36 people and wounded dozens more in several bombings outside of a church in Kaduna on Easter day.
  • March 11, 2012 - A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed three civilians in a bombing outside of a church in Jos. The suicide bomber was stopped before he could enter the compound.
  • Feb. 26, 2012 - A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed six Christians during an attack at a church in Jos.
  • Jan. 21, 2012 - Boko Haram killed more than 140 people during a series of blasts, including a suicide bombing, and shootings in Kano. Boko Haram claimed credit for the attacks, which targeted police and immigration buildings.


READER COMMENTS: "Suicide bomber kills 15 at Nigerian church"

Posted by Paul D at June 3, 2012 1:23 PM ET:

Saudi Mufti would be proud.He wants rid of Churches in the middle east.

Posted by mike merlo at June 3, 2012 2:11 PM ET:

Hopefully Nigeria does not continue to drag its feet in rooting out the extremists. The moderates & the general population comprising Nigeria's Islamic community are in serious danger.

Posted by Jaclyn Peterson at June 4, 2012 2:15 PM ET:

Interestingly, Reuters (RIA) reports that BH has claimed the June 3, 2012 attack, while Reuters (Netherlands) reports BH has in fact denied the attack, and AP reports BH has not yet responded to the attacks.

Since its first suicide attack on June 16, 2011, BH has claimed 12 such attacks (assuming they are in fact responsible for this attack). They also claimed a failed suicide attack attempt on Feb. 7, 2012 in Kaduna State on a military base. The only death was the attacker, who was shot by soldiers.

* Also note: the attack in January this year was actually on the 20th of the month.


Jaclyn Peterson

@jaclyn_peterson

Posted by Jaclyn Peterson at June 8, 2012 5:48 PM ET:

Looks like we can add a new date and suicide attack to BH's tally...this will be 13 (assuming they claim and/or are in fact responsible for this latest attack)

June 8, 2012 - Maiduguri, Borno State - Police HQ

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-06-08/nigeria-s-military-says-suicide-bomber-attacked-police-base

Twitter @jaclyn_peterson