Boko Haram suicide bomber, gunmen attack churches in Nigeria

Boko again attacked churches in Nigeria. Today in Jos, a suicide bomber attempted to ram his explosives-laden car into a church, while in Biu, gunmen opened fire inside another church. Boko Haram claimed credit for the attacks. Scores of people are feared to have been killed in Bui. From Al Jazeera:

“The suicide bomber attempted to drive into the Christ Chosen Church in the Jos metropolis,” Al Jazeera’s Yvonne Ndgee reported from Lagos on Sunday.

“The chief of police has spoken to the local press there [in Jos], and he says that three persons have been killed in this attack. One of them, the suicide bomber, and two others died in unclear circumstances.”

Our correspondent said the two others died after chaos and violence broke out following the blast, with people angry that the authorities were not doing enough to protect them.

“Police have announced that 48 people have been taken to various hospitals in the Jos metropolis with varying degrees of injuries,” Ndege said.

Earlier attack

Earlier, in Biu, a city in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, gunmen opened fire during a service at an EYN church, an acronym that means “Church of the Brethen in Nigeria” in the local Hausa language of Nigeria’s north, witnesses said.

“Before the Jos attack, we know that gunmen burst into a church in the town of Biu just outside of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. These gunmen opened fire on members of a church who were worshipping,” our correspondent said.

Gunmen sprayed the congregation with bullets, killing and wounding many of them, witnesses said.

“Three gunmen came to the premises of the church and started firing at people outside the church before going into the main building to carry on their killings … Many people have been killed and wounded,” said witness Hamidu Wakawa, who was at the church in Biu Town.

Today’s suicide bombing in Jos is the third such attack in Nigeria since June 3. So far this year, Boko Haram has carried out at least nine suicide attacks [see list below]. The targets have included churches, newspapers, government officials, and security forces. The terror group has also conducted several other suicide attacks in previous years; 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 10, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed three people in an attack outside a church in Jos.
  • June 8, 2012 – A Boko Haram suicide bomber killed four people an attack outside a police station in Maiduguri.
  • 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.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Rogg Gollibo says:

    When do we take Boko serious? When they go transnational and take down a plane? Just a matter of time IMO.

  • mike merlo says:

    Based on whats happened to date one can’t help but wonder if the Gov’t is taking the necessary steps to keep pace and out flank this extremism that appears well dug in.

  • advanced says:

    mike, of course the govt of Nigeria has not been able to do anything about this, they are too busy tripping over their shoelaces running to steal from their constituency. discrepancies between the north and south in terms of education and infrastructure are staggering, do not be fooled by the AQ flag, BH has nothing to do with AQ, they are receptive to anyone who can provides bombs and guns, because they are being fleeced by the den of thieves that they call a government, have nothing and are thus mad as hell.
    a destabilization of the nigerian state is their goal and they will probably be successful.
    on a more pertinent related note, one has to take the ambivalence the Obama admin has shown to the insurrection in northern Mali and the threat of BH and wonder if they are content to let all the Islamist/AQ influences have their own “paradise” in the lovely Sahara terrain.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram