A suspected suicide car bomb killed eight people and injured more than 100 at a church in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, according to the national emergency agency.
Rescuers took some of the wounded to hospitals after the explosion in the Malali area of the city, Yushau Shuaib, spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency, said in a text message today.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer and most populous nation of more than 160 million people, is battling an insurgency by Islamist group Boko Haram that has killed hundreds of people in the mostly Muslim north and Abuja, the capital, since 2009.
Boko Haram, whose names means “Western education is a sin,” says it’s fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria, a country almost evenly split between the north and largely Christian south.
“Our churches and mosques have now become a hostile arena for deranged and murderous psychopaths,” Shehu Sani, the Kaduna-based president of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria, said in an e-mailed statement today. “The government of Nigeria must wake up and live up to its duties and constitutional responsibilities. We must find a lasting solution to this carnage and arbitrariness.”
At least 1,500 people have been killed in bomb and gun attacks by Boko Haram in the past three years, New York-based Human Rights Watch said on Oct. 11. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for bombings and gun attacks on churches and government buildings, and the killing of police, soldiers, officials and Muslims who disagree with the group.