At Least 10 Killed As Blast Strikes Nigerian Church

Posted December 25th, 2011 at 6:50 am (UTC-5)
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A large explosion struck a church in Nigeria's capital during a Christmas service Sunday, killing at least 10 people.

The explosion happened during Christmas mass in the St. Theresa Church, located in the Abuja suburb of Madalla.

Police soon cordoned off the area as rescue teams arrived to evacuate the wounded to hospitals and pull bodies from the debris. Officials who gave the death toll warned the number is likely to go higher.

Witness report tension in the area after the blast, with angry youths setting up burning roadblocks, and police trying to disperse them by firing into the air.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blast, and there has been no claim of responsibility. Nigeria has endured a wave of deadly violence in recent months, much of it blamed on the radical Muslim sect Boko Haram.

Authorities say at least 68 people have been killed over the past few days in the country's north, in clashes between Boko Haram and government security forces.

Nigeria has also witnessed periodic bouts of fighting between Muslims and Christians, often in the central city of Jos. The country of 150 million is about evenly divided between the two religions.