Church Blasts Kill 12 and Injure 80 in Nigeria, Reportedly Sparking Christian Reprisal Attacks Against Muslims
LAGOS, Nigeria (The Blaze/AP) — A Nigerian Red Cross official said at least 12 people were killed and 80 wounded in bombings at three churches in the country’s north — attacks that reportedly prompted Christian youths to drag Muslims out of their cars and kill them in retaliation.
Andronicus Adeyemo said 10 people were killed and at least 29 wounded in a blast in the city of Kaduna Sunday morning. He said two people died and 51 were wounded in two church attacks in the nearby city of Zaria. He said the Zaria attacks occurred about 10 minutes apart in different parts of the city.
Churches have been increasingly targeted by violence in Nigeria, a nation of more than 160 million people almost equally divided between Muslims and Christians.
According to Reuters, Christian youths blocked a highway leading out of Kaduna, dragging Muslims out of their cars and killing them in apparent retribution.
“We had to return home when we saw them (the Christian youths) attacking. I saw many bodies on the ground but I don’t know how many were dead or just injured,” Kaduna resident Rafael Gwaza told Reuters.
Another witness said up to 20 people may have been killed.
“There were bodies everywhere on the ground,” Haruna Isah said.
An Easter Day blast in Kaduna killed at least 38 people. A Christmas Day suicide bombing of a Catholic church near Nigeria’s capital killed at least 44 people.
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