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Northern Nigeria Church Bomb Kills at Least 15, Injures 42

A car bombing of a church on the outskirts of the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi killed at least 15 and injured 42, said Muhammad Bello, chairman of the local State Emergency Management Agency.

The explosion happened at about 9:20 a.m. local time as worshippers congregated at the Living Faith church and Harvest church in the Yelwan Tudu district, Muhammed Ladan, the Bauchi state police commissioner, told reporters in the city today. Nine people died and 27 were injured, according to police counts, he said.

“A lone suicide bomber in a motor vehicle Honda civic attempted to force his way unto the iron barricade at the entrance of Living Faith church, but was denied,” said Ladan. “In the process the suicide bomber succeeded in detonating his explosives at the barrier opposite Harvest church.”

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,” Bello said in a text message today.

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.

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