Monday 19 March 2018

Female suicide bomber kills five at church service

People gather around the Redeemed Christian Church of God after a bomb blast in Potiskum, Nigeria
People gather around the Redeemed Christian Church of God after a bomb blast in Potiskum, Nigeria

Adam Smith Nigeria

A female suicide bomber blew herself up in the midst of a crowded evangelical Christian church service in northeast Nigeria yesterday, killing at least five people.

It is the latest bombing in a string of attacks blamed on Islamic extremist group Boko Haram that killed at least 200 people in the past week.

Nearly 100 men and boys praying in a mosque were gunned down on Wednesday.

On Friday, the military said six female suicide bombers caused explosions that killed scores of people including a soldier at Zabamari Muna village outside Maiduguri, the biggest city in northeast Nigeria and the birthplace of Boko Haram.

After yesterday's attack, police rushed to the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Potiskum, the largest city in northeastern Yobe state.

Wailing women and stunned men wandered around the wreckage of smashed bricks and twisted zinc sheets blown off the church roof.

One churchgoer said the blast came from a woman in the congregation. She was too scared to give her name.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday condemned the latest attacks as barbaric and said they underline the need for an expanded multinational army to crush the extremists.

Mr Buhari's spokesman Femi Adesina said at the weekend that a multinational capability with the power to "devastate and decapitate" the insurgency would soon be in place.

Boko Haram took control of a large swathe of northeast Nigeria last year and declared an Islamic caliphate.

As it stepped up cross-border attacks, Nigeria and its neighbours deployed a multinational army that this year drove them out.

But attacks are increasing as Boko Haram apparently responds to an Isil group directive to intensify violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

At least 13,000 people have died in the six-year-old Islamic uprising that has driven 1.5 million people from their homes.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News