At least Eight persons may have been killed in a bomb explosion which occurred on Sunday morning at a Catholic Church in Kaduna State.
The explosion occurred at St Theresa’s Catholic Church in the Unguwa Yero, Badarawa Kwaru area of Kaduna.
Reports indicate that a car, a Honda CRV, broke through the church fence into the church, and exploded.
Witnesses say before the explosion, many worshippers, close by, thought the car had an accident and rushed towards it to help the likely victims.
The subsequent explosion caused some death and varying levels of injuries to the sympathizing rescuers. They were all rushed to the hospital. Some witnesses also claim to have seen many dead bodies that were subsequently evacuated.
There are conflicting reports about the number of casualties . The bombed church is within the Malali area of Kaduna, an administrative hub of Northern Nigeria.
An official of the National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) confirmed that at least 8 people were dead. NEMA’s figure contradicted initial claims by the Kaduna State Police that only the suicide bomber died in the suicide bomb attack.
Several survivors who witnessed the bombing also told our correspondent that they saw several dead worshipers after the attack
The driver of the car died instantly, witnesses said.
The area of the blast was cordoned by security officials and members of the Federal Road Safety Corps.
Kaduna State Police spokesperson, Aminu Lawal, who confirmed the blast claimed that only the suicide bomber, who drove the car died and with the number of injured yet to be ascertained. On the spot witnesses proved otherwise, claiming many dead bodies were removed from the scene.
No group has claimed responsibility yet for the attack, though the insurgent group, Boko Haram, have carried out similar attacks targeting churches
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan condemned the suicide bomb attack claiming he was extremely saddened by the explosion which he described it as “barbaric, cruel and uncalled for.”
President Jonathan noted that the apparent objective of the criminal and unpatriotic elements and forces behind the attack is to set back the progress the Administration has made in the fight against terrorism in the country. “It is obvious that these people do not mean well for Nigeria and its unity and development,” he said.
The President however, expressed confidence that the war against terrorism would become more unrelenting as the nation would never give in to the forces of terror and retardation. He added that the persistence of messengers of evil will not prevail over the will of the government and the people to secure peace and safety.
“Our efforts to deal with all acts of terror and violence would only be redoubled even as the security agencies continue to receive all the support they need from the government to reverse this unfortunate and unacceptable trend that threatens the peace and stability of our nation,” President Jonathan said.
The President commiserated with the Catholic Church, family and friends of the victims of the bombing, assuring them that government’s resolve to deal with the threat of terrorism remains strong.