Suicide Attack kills 10 Churchgoers in Nigeria

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a Catholic church in the Nigerian city of Jos on Sunday, killing 10 people attending mass, the emergency services said.

The man drove his car towards St Finbar’s Catholic Church in the city before setting off a large explosion, killing himself and at least three churchgoers, emergency agency spokesman Yushau Shuaib said. 

“Three confirmed dead,” said Shuaib, adding that several others were in a critical condition.

“The bomb exploded before he could get to the church,” he said of the bomber.

Earlier Shuaib said three people had been injured in the attack and only the bomber had been killed. 

Mark Lipdo, a resident of the Rayfield area of the city where the church is located, told AFP that security forces had cordoned off the area.

The attack was similar to a February 26 suicide bombing of another church in Jos, which killed three people, including a toddler.

Responsibility for that attack was claimed by Islamist extremist sect Boko Haram, which warned of more such assaults.

The worst recent attack on a Catholic church came on December 25 last, when 44 people were killed during a mass to celebrate Christmas in a town outside the capital Abuja.

Jos lies in the so-called middle belt region dividing the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south and hundreds of people have been killed in clashes between Muslim and Christian ethnic groups in recent years.

Violence blamed on Boko Haram, whose goals remain largely unclear, has since 2009 claimed more than 1,000 lives, including more than 300 this year, according to figures tallied by AFP and rights groups.