Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Violence spreads in Nigeria after deadly Easter Sunday car bomb explosion

Suspected members of Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram have killed four people and a large undetonated bomb was found in Kano on Monday, authorities said, a day after at least 36 people were killed in a car bomb near a church in northern Kaduna.

Police said they found a car filled with explosives near a military checkpoint in Kano, Nigeria's second largest city and the scene of Boko Haram's most deadly strike - a coordinated attack in January that killed 178 people.

On Easter Sunday a man attempted to force a car packed with explosives into a church compound during a service but after being stopped by security he turned back and the bomb exploded by a large group of motorbike taxi riders, the police and witnesses said.

Hospital staff and a Red Cross official confirmed the death toll and said 13 people were critically wounded.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but the apparent targeting of a Christian place of worship will stir memories of a string of deadly assaults by Boko Haram on Christmas Day last year, including one at a church that killed at least 37 people and wounded more than 50.

The military in Maiduguri, capital of remote Borno state and the home base of Boko Haram, said the sect attacked several targets, including a bank and a police station on Monday.

"The former chairman of Dikwa, a police sergeant and a civilian were killed by BH... three BH were killed by (military) and many others escaped with bullet wounds," said Sagir Musa, military spokesman in Maiduguri.

Musa said the military found shotguns, AK47s, a bullet proof jacket and a van being used by Boko Haram members.

In neighboring Yobe state, suspected members of Boko Haram on Sunday stormed the home of local policeman Hassan Isa and shot dead his 6-year old daughter, injuring two of Isa's other children, a police spokesman there said.

Boko Haram, which wants sharia, Islamic law, more widely applied across Africa's most populous nation, has killed hundreds this year in gun and bomb attacks, the majority of which take place in its home base of Borno and neighboring states.


Related stories: Car bomb explosion in Kaduna, Nigeria on Easter Sunday

Video - Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram? 

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