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June 14, 2012

Nigeria: Churches Attacked Weekly

Screen shot 2012-06-14 at 4.55.18 PMThe Islamic extremist group Boko Haram attacked two more Nigerian churches on Sunday, June 10, the second such attack in two weeks. A suicide car bomber killed two and injured 40 others in an attack on Christ’s Chosen Church of God in Plateau state, and gunmen killed at least two other Christians in an attack on a church in Borno state.

The bomber who targeted Christ’s Chosen Church of God drove into the church after a service. Most worshipers had already left, but church leaders and children remained in the building. The powerful explosion collapsed the sanctuary roof, and neighbors across the street felt the explosion in their homes.

In a similar attack the previous Sunday, a car bomber detonated his explosives as worshipers left the Living Faith Church in Yelwa, a Christian settlement near the capital of Bauchi state. Although security personnel stopped the car before it reached the church, the bomb blast nevertheless destroyed part of the Living Faith Church building as well as the nearby Harvest Field Church, which collapsed on worshipers inside. At least 13 people were killed and 25 wounded in the explosion.

“The obvious fact is that as soon as we complete our preparations and start launching attacks, nobody should persuade us to stop,” Boko Haram spokesman Abu Qaqa told journalists in an e-mail after the June 3 attack.

Nigerians face a growing wave of violence triggered by Boko Haram. The group has claimed responsibility for killing more than 530 people this year alone, and at last 181 of those killed were targeted because they were Christians.

In other recent attacks, Boko Haram terrorists opened fire on worshipers during church services at Bayero University in Kano state on Sunday, April 29, killing 19 people as they fled. And on April 18, at least 38 people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked churches celebrating Easter.

Sources: The Associated Press, Compass Direct News, AFP, Sun News Publishing