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