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Gunmen and suicide bomber attack Nigerian churches

posted 10 Jun 2012, 16:51 by Mpelembe   [ updated 10 Jun 2012, 16:51 ]

A suicide bomber blows himself up at Jos church, wounding 41, Islamist sect Boko Haram claims responsibility for the attack and another in Borno state where a witness claims the congregation was sprayed with bullets.

JOS, NIGERIA (JUNE 10, 2012)  (REUTERS) - Islamist militants attacked two churches in Nigeria on Sunday (June 10), spraying the congregation of one with bullets, killing at least one person, and blowing up a car in a suicide bombing at the other, wounding 41, witnesses and police said.

No one was killed by the car bombing in the central city of Jos, but youths attacked bystanders in retaliation, killing two, police said.

"Two persons died in circumstances yet to be ascertained, this is being investigated by the state CID [Crime and Investigation Department]. [UNCLEAR] We know the areas affected," said Commission of Police Diipo Ayeni.

Commissioner for Information Abraham Yiljap appealed to residents not to commit reprisal attacks.

"Please don't take the laws into your hands but we need to work together with security services to guarantee security for all."

Islamist group Boko Haram's spokesman Abu Qaqa claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Boko Haram has linked up with other Islamist groups in the region including al Qaeda's north African wing and has become the biggest security threat in Nigeria, Africa's top oil producer and member of OPEC.

Attacks on churches have become a trademark tactic of Boko Haram, which says it is fighting to reinstate an ancient Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria.