Nigeria’s Islamist sect Boko Haram said it was behind a suicide bomb attack Sunday that killed at least three outside a church in the central city of Jos, and warned of more such assaults.
Witnesses said a car packed with explosives rammed the gate of a perimeter fence and exploded a few metres (yards) from the wall of an 800-seat church hall in the volatile city.
Three people including a toddler were killed in the attack, igniting brief riots by Christian youths that left another three people, believed to be Muslims, dead on the streets of the capital of Plateau State.
Bauchi State Police Command Sunday arrested eight persons in connection with an alleged attempt to bomb COCIN LCC Church in Miya Barkatai village in Toro Local Government Area of the state.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, said in a statement in Bauchi, that the timely intervention of the police prevented the occurrence of an ugly incident in the state.
Aduba said the act was to be carried out by members of a rival group in the COCIN church in the village due to some misunderstanding among them.
The incident in Jos marks, I believe, the first suicide bombing in that city as well as another attempt by Boko Haram to incorporate Jos into its zone of regular attacks. The resulting killings by Christians demonstrate the secondary effects that Boko Haram’s violence can have. And the plot in Bauchi reminds us that not all violence now in the North is coming from Boko Haram; perhaps the plotters even hoped that the larger wave of violence would cover up their own involvement and direct suspicion away from them.
I don’t think I’ve posted the recent New York Times piece on Boko Haram in Kano, so here it is. It gives some insight into the group’s presence there, and how people are reacting to it.