A deadly attack on St. John Catholic Catholic Cathedral in Bauchi metropolis, north-east Nigeria, has killed at least 10 worshippers, including women and children.
Witnesses say the blast occurred at about 9.00 am while worshippers were leaving the church after a morning mass.
The attacker came in a Vectra car and forced himself close to the church gate before detonating, Yakubu Adamu who saw the attack from outside the gate told PREMIUM TIMES.
The attacker succeeded despite the presence of security agents – military and police – at the church’s gate before his arrival.
“I saw about 10 bodies on the ground,” Mr Adamu said. “I saw legs and hands scattered around the scene.”
Another source who witnessed the attack from inside the church said she saw at least three bodies inside the church premises.
Other witnesses claim the casualty rate is higher than 10.
Both bodies and injured victims have since been evacuated to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital and the area cordoned off by police.
The Bauchi Police Command’s spokesperson, Mohammed Hassan, confirmed the attacks but said the police is unable to ascertain the casualty rate three hours after the attack.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. But the attack bears the style of the Boko Haram sect operating in northern Nigeria.
The group has claimed responsibility for several similar attacks on churches including the Christmas Day bombing that killed about 35 in a Suleja church, Niger state. The group also claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks on churches in Kaduna state that sparked religious clashes in Kaduna state, earlier this year.
The recent attack highlights the effectiveness of the security strategy applied by Nigeria’s security agents in combating the sect’s terrorist activities.
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