Boko Haram suicide bombers target Nigerian churches

Boko Haram, an al Qaeda-linked Islamist terror group in Nigeria, attempted to bomb five Christian churches in Kaduna state today. The Guardian said that three of the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers, and that 12 people were killed in those attacks:

Three suicide bomb attacks on churches has rocked the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, killing at least 12 people and wounding about 80, officials said, prompting protests in a province that has previously been strained by religious tensions.

The first two blasts occurred within minutes of each other and targeted two churches in the city of Zaria, said Kaduna state police chief Mohammed Abubakar Jinjiri. A third blast hit a church in the city of Kaduna about half an hour later.

The Zaria attacks killed the bomber and at least one other person and left 51 wounded, said Nigerian Red Cross official Andronicus Adeyemo. The Kaduna attack claimed 10 lives, he said, and wounded 29 people.

Jinjiri said security at the three churches prevented the suicide bombers from ramming explosive-laden cars into the buildings filled with worshippers.

“If not for security, there would have been more casualties,” Jinjiri said.

AFP reported that two more bombings took place in villages outside of Kaduna city:

Two more church bombings rocked Christian-dominated towns in Kaduna Sunday, bringing to five the number of explosions in the northern state, a local emergency official said.

“There were two simultaneous bomb attacks on churches in Nassarawa and Barnawa in the south of Kaduna this morning. We are yet to get information on casualities,” Kaduna spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Aliyu Mohammed told AFP.

Boko Haram has made it a habit of attacking churches on Sundays during services in order to kill as many Christians as possible. This is the third Sunday in a row in which Boko Haram suicide bombers have targeted churches; prior to today’s attacks, Boko Haram suicide bombers and gunmen attacked churches on June 10 and June 3.

So far this year, Boko Haram has carried out at least 12 suicide attacks [see list below]. The targets have included churches, newspapers, government officials, and security forces. The terror group 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 17, 2012 – Boko Haram suicide bombers attacked three churches in Kaduna, killing at least 12 people.
  • 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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  • Paul D says:

    The Saudis would be proud as their Grand Mufti wants to do the same in the Arab world

  • advanced says:

    I mentioned this in previous BH threads but probably a few days too late, so I’ll ask again here:Roggio, or LWJ readers, have you heard a rumor that Hilary Clinton has privately stated it is their belief the Nigerian state will have disintegrated by 2015? And that this is primarily the reason BH has not been labelled a Foreign Terrorist Org., because BH is likely supplied in great amount by the northern elites in Nigeria, and is effectively a tool for them to collapse the government, and we are actively avoiding alienating northern elites just in case they are the ones controlling the oil flows in the near future?
    The real threat here isn’t “terrorism” or AQ, it is religiously inspired war, which would almost certainly fall the government. I am just wondering why the West is ignoring this

  • Is there anything that can be done to increase security for Christians in Nigeria. Is there anything the U. S. can do diplomatically or other wise that were not doing already. Is there some thing Christians world wide can do to help. Can Christians continue to stand idle while there Brothers and Sisters are murdered in Nigeria and around the world.

  • mike merlo says:

    @ advanced
    They’re still people in the Obama Administration under the illusion that there are moderate elements within BK available to be reasoned with.

  • Rogg Gollibo says:

    @ Advanced, I have not heard that and don’t believe that to be accurate. I do agree with your last paragraph though that this simply is a religous war.
    @ Pokey; read (and take) what you will of Advanced entry. We (US) are simply standing by and watching.
    I wish i knew the USG’s threshold of “go to war/send in troops and drones” vice “stand by”. If Boko was taken out now, crushed, then we take out a budding group. Look at Roggio’s stats…i counted (and im probably off) 230 or so poeple killed in 2012…. divert a few drones from Yemen and problem solved. I think Mr. Goodluck would more than welcome a few drones, and appreciate us for it.

  • mike merlo says:

    @ B Roggio
    back in the Spring of this year there was letter submitted to the State Dept concerning Nigeria by a collection of academic’s & I’ve found that to be the source of many misunderstanding’s by people both in & out of government

  • Neonmeat says:

    Wow, so Jihadis are right!
    Those Christian Crusaders will stop at nothing to remove Muslims from their own countries and will never stop in their aim of spreading Christianity through violence………oh…..oh no wait hold on….


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram