2 Killed in Nigeria Church Blasts

Posted June 17th, 2012 at 10:20 am (UTC-5)
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Blasts have rocked three churches in northern Nigeria, killing two people in attacks similar to ones carried out by the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram.

Authorities say the blasts happened on Sunday in Kaduna state, which divides Nigeria's mostly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

Two blasts hit churches in the city of Zaria, according to local officials. A third explosion took place at a church in Kaduna city.

A witness told VOA hundreds of people rioted after the attack in Kaduna city, but that police moved in and quelled the unrest. The governor has imposed a 24-hour curfew.

Witnesses say there were casualties in both cities, but it was not immediately clear how many.

One Zaria resident who did not want to be named told VOA his neighbor was killed.

“We are appealing to those responsible to please stop in the name of God. Please talk with the government,” said the resident.

Investigators have not named suspects in the explosions.

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for church attacks that killed 18 people the previous two Sundays.

The militant group has said it is fighting to establish a strict Islamic state throughout Nigeria. It does not recognize the government or the country's constitution.

The country of 150 million is about evenly divided between Muslims and Christians.