Five church bombings in Kaduna killed at least 34 people on Sunday and injured more than 175 others, officials said.
The series of attacks began when a suicide bomber drove a blue Honda civic at high speed through a barricade at the EWCA Goodnews Wusasa Zaria church around 9 a.m burning the front entrance and damaging the building, the church’s pastor, Reverend Nathan Waziri said.
That blast left at least 24 people dead and 125 injured, some in critical condition, according to a Kaduna state government official who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
Within minutes, another explosion occurred at the Christ the King Catholic Church in Zaria, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
At least 10 people were killed in that attack and more than 50 were injured, the state government official said.
Later, an unconfirmed number of people were killed in a bombing at a church in the city of Kaduna, a NEMA official said.
Two more church bombings were reported to have rocked other parts of Kaduna, bringing to five the number of explosions in the state.
“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 NEMA, Aliyu Mohammed told a news agency reporter.
Christian youths in Zaria and Kaduna reacted violently, burning tires and blocking major roads.
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,” said a resident, Rafael Gwaza.
Another witness, Haruna Isah said up to 20 people may have been killed in reprisals at the road block. “There were bodies everywhere on the ground,” he said.
The Kaduna state government imposed a 24-hour curfew.
Regular attacks on Sunday church services are usually claimed by Boko Haram, which says it is fighting to reinstate an ancient Islamic caliphate that would adhere to strict sharia, or Islamic law.