UPDATE 2-Suicide bombs kill 11 at military church in Nigeria

Garba Mohammed and Isaac Abrak
Reuters Middle East

* Kaduna state hit by church attack last month

* Islamists Boko Haram targeted churches, military before

* Kaduna sits on Christian-Muslim dividing line

KADUNA, Nigeria, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Two suicide bombs killed

at least 11 people on Sunday at a church in a barracks in

northern Nigeria, where the Islamist sect Boko Haram is waging a

campaign of violence, the military said.

Army spokesman Bola Koleoso said a bus drove into the side

of the St. Andrew Military Protestant Church at the Jaji

barracks in Kaduna state and exploded at around 1105 GMT, five

minutes after a service had started.

Explosives inside a Toyota Camry were detonated outside the

church ten minutes later, he said. The military said at least 30

were injured.

A military source who witnessed the attack said the second

bomb was the most deadly, killing people who went to help the

injured from the first blast. Witnesses said the barracks was

cordoned off and ambulances carried the wounded to hospital.

There was no claim of responsibility but Islamist sect Boko

Haram has frequently attacked the security forces and Christian

churches in its fight to create an Islamic state in Nigeria,

where the 160 million population is evenly split between

Christians and Muslims.

A suicide bomber killed eight people and injured more than

100 last month at a church in another part of Kaduna state,

which has a mixed Muslim and Christian population and often

suffers from sectarian tensions.


A bomb attack in a church in Kaduna state in June triggered

a week of tit-for-tat violence that killed at least 90 people.

Gunmen killed six people in a village in northern Kaduna

state earlier this month. The area was at the heart of

post-election violence in April last year that left hundreds

dead and thousands displaced.

Boko Haram's purported spokesman Abu Qaqa, who used to

confirm the sect's attacks in phone calls to journalists, was

killed by the military in September, the army said. Since then

there has been little public communication by the group.

Nigeria's army on Saturday offered 290 million naira ($1.8

million) for information leading to the capture of 19 leading

members of Boko Haram, including 50 million naira for the sect's

self-proclaimed leader Abubakar Shekau.

At least 2,800 people have died in fighting since Boko

Haram's insurrection began in 2009, according to Human Rights

Watch. Most in the northeast of the country, where the sect

usually attacks politicians and security forces.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Nigeria with the

Archbishop of Canterbury-designate Justin Welby last week to

launch a programme by Blair's foundation to reconcile religious

differences in Africa's most populous nation.

The foundation said it was at consultancy stage and gave no

details on how much would be spent or who would benefit.

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