By Joel Gulhane
A suicide bomber blew up his vehicle up next to a church in northeast Nigeria on Sunday, killing himself and another, AP reported.
The blast occurred just after 9am, as mass was being held at the St. John Catholic church in the city of Bauchi. Forty five were injured in the explosion and doctors warned that the death toll could rise further due to the severity of some injuries.
Bauchi has been targeted by numerous attacks recently which have been blamed on the Islamist sect Boko Haram.
Local Police commissioner T. Stevens told journalists that the bomber had been stopped at the gate of the church and it was at this point that he detonated the explosives in the car. Police and military set up a perimeter around the church and did not allow journalists inside. Stevens stated, “the situation has now been brought under control.”
Stevens said no groups or individuals had claimed responsibility for the attack but suspicion had fallen on Boko Haram, as the method used reflects that of attacks blamed on the sect in the past. This year alone the group has killed more than 680 people by using methods such as car bombs and drive by shootings.
Boko Haram have targeted churches in the past, but according to AP, attacks on churches had declined in recent weeks after a claims from the Nigerian military that they had killed a spokesman and a commander of the sect on 17 September.