The Kaduna State governor, Patrick Yakowa on Sunday imposed a 24 hour curfew in the state following earlier bomb blasts and retaliatory violent protest in parts of the state.

“The government has approved a 24-hour curfew with immediate effect in the state due to a breakdown of law and order,” Reuben Buhari, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Kaduna State governor said.

Explosions at three churches in Kaduna state killed over 20 people on Sunday, leading furious Christian youths to drag Muslims out of their cars and kill them in retaliation.

Two explosions rocked churches in the town of Zaria within minutes of each other. First, a suicide bomber drove a blue Honda civic into a church, burning the front entrance and damaging the building.

Then, militants threw bombs at another church, killing four children who were playing on the streets outside, said resident Deborah Osagie, who lives opposite the church. She added that the militants were later caught by a mob and killed.

A blast hit a third church in the state’s main city of Kaduna, causing an unknown number of casualties, witnesses and the National Emergency Management Agency said.

After the bombs, angry youths blocked the highway leading south out of Kaduna to the capital Abuja, dragging Muslims out of their cars and killing them, witnesses said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombings, but radical group Boko Haram has been blamed for scores of deadly attacks that have claimed more than 1,000 lives since mid-2009.

Two more church bombings

Two more church bombings rocked  other parts of Kaduna on Sunday, bringing to five the number of explosions in the northern state, an emergency official said.

“There were two simultaneous bomb attacks on churches in Nassarawa and Barnawa in the south of Kaduna this morning. We are yet to get information on causalities,” Kaduna spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Aliyu Mohammed told a news agency reporter.