Nigerian state imposes 24-hour curfew after church attacks
KANO, Nigeria - Agence France-Presse
The scene at the Christ Chosen Church of God Rukuba following the bomb blast the previous day in Jos, Nigeria, 11 June 2012. EPA photo
Authorities in restive northern Nigeria's Kaduna State on Sunday imposed a 24-hour curfew following several bomb attacks on churches in the area, a government spokesman and police said.
"The government has approved a 24-hour curfew with immediate effect in the state due to a breakdown of law and order," government spokesman Reuben Buhari told AFP.
The police also confirmed the decision. "A 24-hour curfew is now in force throughout the state," Kaduna state police spokesman Aminu Lawan said, adding that security agents would ensure compliance.
No group has claimed responsibility for the bombings, but Islamist group Boko Haram has been blamed for scores of deadly attacks that have claimed more than 1,000 lives since mid-2009.
Two more church bombings
Two more church bombings rocked Christian-dominated towns in Nigeria's Kaduna Sunday, bringing to five the number of explosions in the northern state, a local emergency official said.
"There were two simultaneous bomb attacks on churches in Nassarawa and Barnawa in the south of Kaduna this morning. We are yet to get information on casualities," Kaduna spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Aliyu Mohammed told AFP.
Explosions rock churches in Nigeria
Bombs rocked three churches in neighbouring cities in Nigeria's northern Kaduna state today, injuring dozens of worshippers, emergency services and residents said.
The number of casualties in the blasts in the neighbouring cities of Zaria and Kaduna was not immediately clear. Police and the military cordoned off the areas around the churches.
The state-run National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the blasts happened in the Wusasa and Sabongari districts of Zaria, previously targeted by the Islamist group Boko Haram.
Residents in the areas said many people were injured in the attacks on the Christ the King Catholic Cathedral and ECWA GoodNews Church.
"Many people in the church were injured but I have not seen any dead bodies," a woman who was in the church in Wusasa at the time of the explosion said by telephone from her hospital bed.
Several residents in Sabongari said the church was badly damaged.
"I went close to the church but could not access it due to heavy police and military security deployed around it," resident Mahmud Hamza told AFP.
"From where I stood I could see a badly destroyed church still burning from the explosion. It is obvious there were deaths from the scale of the damage and the fire," he added.
Another resident spoke of seeing bodies being taken out of the church.
Officials later reported a third bomb attack on a church in Kaduna, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks targeting churches in Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer.