Church Service Attacked in Nigeria After Boko Haram Threats
An early morning attack on a Christian church service in northern Nigeria left at least seven people dead according to an official, but eyewitnesses say the toll was much higher. The attack follows a string of violent incidents against Christians in the predominantly Muslim north.
Gunmen on motorcycles stormed Bayero University in the city of Kano Sunday morning during a Catholic mass held in the school’s theater hall. The unidentified assailants threw improvised explosive devices as they traveled from the gates to the theater, and opened fire as people fled.
University spokesperson Alhaji Mustapha Zahradeen said seven people were killed. Eyewitness, however, said rescue operators have removed at least 18 dead bodies.
Security officials suspect Boko Haram, an Islamist insurgent outfit, carried out the attack. The group, whose name means “Western education is a sin,” issued a statement last month warning that they will attack schools. Boko Haram has been blamed for killing more than 1,000 people since 2009 in its bid to overthrow Nigeria’s secular government and establish Islamic sharia law nationwide.