Nigeria suicide bombing leaves 11 dead, 30 injured

At least 11 people were killed and about 30 injured in a suicide-bomb attack on a military church in northern Nigeria, the West African nation’s army said.

The attack occurred at about midday at the St. Andrew’s Military Protestant Church inside the Jaji Military Cantonment, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) north of the city of Kaduna, Brigadier-General Bola Koleoso, director of army public relations, said in an e-mailed statement.

“A bus first ran into the church and exploded about five minutes after service, while a Toyota Camry parked outside the church detonated 10 minutes later,” Koleoso said. “Figures of casualties are not yet clear, but the injured are receiving treatment in military hospitals both in Jaji and Kaduna.”

The Boko Haram group, which wants to impose Islamic rule in Africa’s largest oil producer, has claimed responsibility for bomb and gun attacks in the mainly Muslim north and the capital, Abuja, in which hundreds of people have died this year. The group has targeted churches, government buildings, security forces and other Muslims, killing more than 1,500 people since 2009, New York-based Human Rights Watch said on Oct. 11.
“Investigations into the bombings have commenced and the affected area is already cordoned off,” Koleoso said.

The latest attacks come two days after Nigeria’s military offered rewards totaling 290 million naira ($1.8 million) for the arrest of Boko Haram commanders.
The bounties include 50 million naira for the capture of the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, and offers ranging from 10 million naira to 25 million for 18 other leaders of the group, Sagir Musa, a spokesman for the military in the northeastern Borno state, said in an e-mailed statement.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country of more than 160 million people, is almost evenly split between a mainly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south.