Northern Nigeria Bauchi Church Bombing Injures at Least 40

A suicide car bombing of a church on the outskirts of the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi seriously injured at least 40 people, according to the Red Cross.

The explosion happened at 10 a.m. local time at the Living Faith church in the Yelwan Tudu district, Adamu Abubakar, a Red Cross official, said in an interview in Bauchi today. Abubakar couldn’t immediately confirm how many people had died. Joseph Michael, a worshipper at the church, said he saw four people who died from the blast.

Authorities in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, have blamed Boko Haram, which seeks to impose strict Islamic law in the country, for a surge in attacks since 2009 in the mainly Muslim north and the capital Abuja in which hundreds of people have died this year.

The Bauchi State Emergency Management Agency “and security officials are at the scene of the blast doing some rescue job,” Muhammad Bello, chairman of the agency, said in a text message. Thirty-five people had been injured by their count, though he couldn’t yet confirm the number of deaths.

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is a sin,” claimed responsibility for multiple blasts and attacks in the northern city of Kano on Jan. 20 that killed at least 256 people and for the Aug. 26 suicide car-bombing of a United Nations office in Abuja in which 25 people died.

Nigeria, Africa’s most-populous country with more than 160 million people, is almost evenly split between the largely Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ardo Hazzad in Bauchi at ahazzad@bloomberg.net; Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dick Schumacher at dschumacher@bloomberg.net

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