Two Nigerian Churches Attacked, 3 Dead

Posted June 10th, 2012 at 11:40 am (UTC-5)
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Nigerian authorities say gunmen and a suicide bomber targeted two Christian churches on Sunday, killing 3 people and wounding at least 41.

The attacks took place in the country's restive northeastern region and the so-called “middle-belt” in central Nigeria. The middle belt divides the country's mostly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

The first attack took place in the central city of Jos, where a suicide bomber detonated his car outside of a church. Local officials say two people were killed and 41 wounded. Christian youths assaulted local Muslims in retaliation.

The second attack took place in the city of Biu in northeastern Borno state. Witnesses say gunmen opened fire during a church service, killing at least 1 person.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Authorities say the radical Islamic group Boko Haram is responsible for similar attacks that have killed scores of people, mostly in the north.

The militants took responsibility for a June 3rd suicide attack at a church in northeastern Bauchi state. The bombing killed 15 people in the state capital, Bauchi.

Boko Haram does not recognize Nigeria's government or constitution and says it is fighting to establish a strict Islamic state.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous nations with about 150 million people, divided roughly between Muslims and Christians.