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April 16, 2012

Nigeria: Bomber Targets Church

A suicide bomber killed 36 people and injured 13 others in Kaduna on April 5, after church security workers turned him away from the church they were guarding. Deterred from attacking the church, the bomber detonated his weapon a few moments later in a crowded commercial district.

At about 10 a.m. the day before Good Friday, a man in an ash-colored Honda approached the ECWA Good News Church in Kaduna. Francis Markus, a security guard, told the man he could not pass because a church service was in progress. “I advised him to pass after the church service, but he insisted,” said Francis.

Photos of the Incident

Kaduna

The site of the bomb blast.

Kaduna

Nearby building damaged by the bomb.

Kaduna

Hotel damaged by the explosion.

The two men argued for several minutes before the Honda driver, wearing a T-shirt, vest and cargo shorts, got back in his vehicle and tried to force his way through. Francis held down an iron pole used as a road block as the driver attempted to push past, and another church member came to help Francis. The driver, who had an Army uniform in the backseat of his car, told them he was an officer in the Army. Two nearby policemen came to the aid of the guard and church member, and the four men finally forced the man to leave.

“Within two to three minutes, we heard the sound of an explosion across the road,” Francis said.

The bomber detonated his explosives in an area populated with commercial motorcycle taxis, tea and bread sellers, and bakers. The explosion blew windows and doors out of nearby hotels, churches, vehicles and a bank.

No one has taken responsibility for the explosion.

Source: The Daily Sun newspaper