Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bomb explodes near Christ Embassy church in Suleja



A bomb planted by an abandoned car exploded outside a church in the middle of a worship service Sunday in Suleja, Niger State, wounding five people amid a continuing wave of violence by a radical Islamist sect, authorities and witnesses said.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast outside the Christ Embassy church.

The explosion happened just after 10 a.m. as the church began its service, Pastor Uyi Idugboe told journalists. Security guards at the church had noticed something suspicious by the abandoned car, prompting the pastor to call everyone inside the church before the service began, he said.

The bomb also apparently had been wrapped with a motorcycle chain, which sent metal shrapnel flying everywhere when the explosive detonated, witnesses said. The explosion tore away the engine compartment of the abandoned car and damaged four other vehicles nearby.

One person was seriously injured in the blast and taken to a local hospital, local police spokesman Richard Oguche said. Another four people suffered minor injuries, said Yushau Shuaib, a spokesman for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency.

Authorities began to put up roadblocks Sunday afternoon to keep onlookers away and traffic snarled around the city.

While police continued to investigate, suspicion for the blast immediately fell on Boko Haram, a group that has been waging increasingly bloody attacks against Nigeria's weak central government.

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