Bomb blast hits Nigerian church near capital on Christmas Day

By staff writers
December 25, 2011

An explosion has hit a church near the Nigerian capital of Abuja on Christmas morning, says a government emergency official in the West African country.

Early reports said that there were casualties, but figures and details were not immediately available. It was later revealed that at least 40 worshippers had died.

"Explosion in St Theresa Church close to Abuja," declared Yushau Shuaib, a spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), recording the blast in the Madalla area of the city.

A second explosion shortly afterwards hit a church in the central city of Jos, killing at least one person.

People were known to be inside the church at the time of the incident, but Mr Shuaib could not say how many, according to news agency reports.

NEMA promptly called for ambulances to be provided to evacuate victims and announced that the area in the vicinity of the blast had been cordoned off.

Nigeria has recently been hit by scores of bomb blasts and shootings attributed to a hardline Islamist group called Boko Haram, in which 70 people have died.

The group has claimed responsibility for the latest Christmas bombings.


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