2 Churches in Bomb Attacks in Nigeria, Christians on High Alert

Explosions in two Nigerian churches on Sunday have killed at least three Christians and injured several others, Christian Solidarity Worldwide has reported.

Two entirely separate bombs were detonated; one at All Christian Fellowship Mission, and the other at Faith Mission Church in Suleja, Niger State.

The All Christian Fellowship Mission bomb exploded at just after 3 p.m. while several members of the church were attending a meeting after a service, reports Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

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Two people died on the spot, including Justina Odogbo, the wife of a committee chair. Four others were critically injured, and were rushed to hospital, where one died.

The attacks on the churches come after a boom in violence in the northeastern city of Maiduguri. Security was tightened just days before the bombings, but churches have now been put on high alert due to the increase in violence and the two explosions.

Though no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Joint Military Task Force has looked to the militant Islamic group Boko Haram. The group issued warnings telling people to avoid Christian and government institutions prior to the bombings. The Joint Military Task Force has now rounded up suspected members of the Boko Haram group for investigation.

Stuart Windsor, Special Ambassador for Christian Solidarity Worldwide, has asked the Nigerian government to provide security during church services to make sure the Christian community is sufficiently protected.

Windsor has said, “If the alleged Boko Haram statement is accurate and their target is now shifting increasingly towards the church, Christians are in greater danger than ever, as their places of worship provide soft targets.

“It is vital that state and federal authorities ensure that adequate protection is afforded to these establishments, and that security is deployed during church services. However, reports of possible irregular actions and extra-judicial executions by some members of the JTF are deeply worrying and must be investigated as a matter of urgency.”

He concluded, “It is crucial that security arrangements for the country as a whole and for Maiduguri in particular are conducted with sensitivity, in order not to alienate and further victimize innocent members of the public, who are already traumatized by the actions of this violent group.”

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