An explosion has occurred near a church on the outskirts of the Nigerian city of Bauchi, with witnesses reporting fatalities and many injured and officials describing the blast as a suicide attack. A witness said that 12 people were killed in the blast on Sunday morning, according to the Reuters news agency.
A spokesman for Nigeria’s Federal Emergency Management Agency confirmed the explosion near an evangelical church, but provided no further details. Police said the blast was triggered by a suicide bomber, according to the AFP news agency A reporter for the Associated Press news agency saw injured people receiving treatment at a local hospital.
An initial report from the Nigerian Red Cross in Bauchi said at least 33 people had been wounded and taken to local hospitals. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast but Boko Haram, an Islamic rebel group, has targeted churches in prior sectarian attacks in Bauchi province.
Boko Haram opposes Western-style education and wants Nigeria, which is roughly divided between the predominantly Muslim north and Christian south, to adopt Sharia law throughout the country.