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Attacks on Nigerian Churches Leave Five Dead, Officials Say

June 10 (Bloomberg) -- Suspected members of an Islamist sect killed five worshippers in separate attacks on churches in northeastern and central Nigeria today, officials said.

Two people were killed and an unspecified number injured when gunmen attacked a church in Biu, 180 kilometers (112 miles) from the Borno State capital of Maiduguri, Victor Ebhaleme, a spokesman for the military’s Joint Task Force, said by phone. The worshippers belonged to the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, he said.

The area where the attack took place has been cordoned off and “a serious manhunt for the terrorists is taking place,” Ebhaleme said. The military prevented a separate attack by the sect and recovered arms and bomb-making material, he said, without giving further detail.

A suicide bomber killed three people and left 41 others “seriously wounded” in a separate attack at St. Barnabas Church in the Rukuba area of Jos, the capital of central Plateau state, Commissioner of Police Dipo Ayeni said. The bomber drove a car and was dressed in a military uniform, he said by phone.

Authorities in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, blame Boko Haram, an movement that wants to impose strict Islamic law in the country, for attacks in the mainly Muslim north and the capital Abuja that have killed hundreds of people this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gbenga Akingbule in Maiduguri at gakingbule@bloomberg.net; Ardo Hazzad in Bauchi at ahazzad@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dulue Mbachu at dmbachu@bloomberg.net

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