Friday, August 2, 2013

Churches Bombed in Kano, Nigeria, Killing at Least 45 People

Christians leaders say Islamic extremist Boko Haram terrorists suspected

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

JOS, NIGERIA (ANS) -- Terrorists suspected to be part of the militant Islamic extremist group Boko Haram set off four bombs that hit two churches in Kano city on July 29, killing at least 45 people.
Ibrahim Bitrus was killed by Boko Haram
in Adamawa state in April.
A story by Morning Star News reported sources said the four devices were detonated minutes apart between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in the Sabon Gari area of the city.

Rev. Ramsey Noah, chairman of the Kano state chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), told Morning Star News by phone the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were planted near three churches, blasting two of them as well as nearby Christian-owned businesses.

Churchgoers were meeting at Christ Salvation Pentecostal Church when one explosion hit. Christian leaders said 39 bodies were recovered in the area.

Believers were also meeting at St. Stephen's Anglican Church as another bomb went off, and an explosion apparently targeting Peniel Baptist Church did not affect the structure, Noah said.

"On Monday evening at about 9 p.m., four bombs exploded in the Sabon Gari area of Kano," Noah told Morning Star News. "The bombs we believe were targeted at three churches located in the area. There were worshipers in the two churches affected at the time having evening Bible study programs."

Total deaths from the church bombings were unknown at time of writing.

The pastor of Peniel Baptist Church, Rev. John Adeyemohe, told Morning Star News by phone that many Christians were killed.

"The attacks caused confusion and uncertainty in this area," he said. "I cannot for now say how many Christians have died or were injured, but I know that several deaths have been recorded as we saw military personnel moving dead bodies away to various hospitals."

Tobias Michael Idika, a Christian community leader in the Sabon Gari area of the city, told Morning Star News by phone that 45 people had died from attacks believed to have been carried out by Boko Haram.

"On Monday, July 29, between 9 and 9:30 p.m., terrorists we believe are Boko Haram members invaded Sabon Gari, an area we Christians reside in, and planted Improvised Explosive Devices, which exploded almost simultaneously at Enugu/Igbo Road, near the International Ho tel, and on New Road, directly opposite the popular Ado Bayero Square, precisely at No. 38, 39, 40 and 41."

Idika added, "We can confirm 39 deaths along New Road and six deaths along Igbo/Enugu Road. We also can confirm that quite a number of other Christians in the area were injured in the attacks."

Morning Star News said a spokesman for the military's Joint Task Force (JTF) in Kano, Capt. Ikedichi Iweh, issued a media statement on July 30 claiming that 12 people had been killed in the attacks, with another 12 sustaining injuries. No group has taken responsibility for the blasts, but Iweh also said Boko Haram was suspected.

A top Islamic organization, the Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI), along with the AREWA Consultative Forum (ACF) condemned the attack.

"We strongly condemn the inhuman and ungodly act in its totality, as it is reprehensible, and we equally call for calm and restraint," JNI Secretary General Khalid Abubakar Aliyu said in a statement. "As it has always been our prayers, whatsoever is the intent/motive of the perpetrators of these contemptible acts, they will never succeed insha'Allah."

According to Morning Star News a spokesman for the ACF, Anthony Sani, said in a statement that the forum was shocked and saddened, and the act desecrated the Islamic month of Ramadan.

Boko Haram has targeted Christians as well as government, police and military installations in its effort to destabilize the government and impose sharia (Islamic law) nationwide.

The group, whose name translates roughly to "Western education is a sin," has said that the sole purpose of its campaign of violence is to establish an "Islamic state like during the time of Prophet Muhammad."
However, Morning Star News said, the U.S. State Department of State insists that the group is motivated by poverty and marginalization.

Advocacy group Jubilee Campaign has stated that Boko Haram has used religion as its primary recruiting tool, and that statements by the Islamic extremist group's leaders reveal their motive for viole nce is "unambiguously waging Jihad.

In an April 29 report the Jubilee Campaign said, "No reference is made in the DOS (Department of State) report to their declared motive," Jubilee Campaign lamented in an April 29 report.

According to Operation World, Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria's population of 158.2 million and live mainly in the south, while Muslims account for 45 percent and reside primarily in the north.

For more information visit Morning Star News at

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