By Paul Jongas, BosNewsLife Special Correspondent reporting from Nigeria
ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife) At least five people were killed and dozens injured Sunday, November 25, when a suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives into a church inside the Jaji military barracks in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state, officials said.
There was no immediate known claim of responsibility, but similar attacks have been carried out by Islam group Boko Haram, or ‘Western education is a sin’, which wants to establish a strict Islamic state.
“I saw five bodies and scores injured,” a military officer who witnessed the bombing told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The attack came a day after Nigeria’s army offered some 290 million naira ($1.8 million) for information that leads to the detention of 19 Boko Haram members.
Witnesses said Sunday’s blast was part of a “coordinated attack” with the first car bomb failing to cause casualties and the second exploding among the crowd who had appeared on the scene of the first car blast.
The blast rocked the area at a time when the local Christian community was still mourning the eight people who were killed last month at a church in another part of Kaduna state in a suicide attack that also injured over 100 people.
Kaduna has a mixed Muslim and Christian population and often suffers from sectarian tensions. Church leaders have said however that the tensions are fueled by groups such as Boko Haram and a government that seems unable to halt the violence.
However Boko Haram’s communication has suffered a setback after its purported spokesman Abu Qaqa, who used to confirm the sect’s attacks in phone calls to media, was killed by the military in September, the army said.