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Monday, February 20, 2012

Explosion rocks two churches on Sunday in Suleja

Barely two months after an explosion rocked the St Theresa’s Catholic
Church, Madalla, resulting in the death of 43 worshippers another bomb on
Sunday exploded on Morocco Street, Suleja, Niger State in a neighbourhood
accommodating some churches.

The explosion occurred mid day on Sunday when the Christ Embassy and the
Triumphant Ministries International Church located in neighbourhood were still
holding their services.

Although no death was recorded from the explosion, five people including a
baby were severely injured.

Two residents of the building facing the Triumphant Church were among the
injured. A child worshipping at the Triumphant Ministries International Church
was injured on the head by the church’s window glass broken by the impact of
the blast. The remaining two injured were hawkers.

About five cars belonging to members of the Christ Embassy Church were
badly damaged in the blast.

But for the alarm raised by the Head of the Security Unit of the Christ
Embassy, on noticing a sack concealed in one of the cars parked near the
church about 20 minutes earlier leading to evacuation of the worshippers, the
casualties would have been more.

It was gathered that following the alarm raised by the security personnel, the
pastor advised the worshippers to keep a safe distance away from the scene.

The pastor promptly notified the police of the strange object. Barely twenty
minutes after the worshippers moved some metres away from the scene, the
bomb exploded.

The victims were immediately taken to Suleja Genera Hospital for medical
However two of the injured namely Chike Emefo and Maureen Kenneth, were
referred to the Abuja University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, owing to the
severe injuries they sustained.

Emefor was said to have sustained deep cuts in his stomach, right leg, lap
and his wrist. He was given blood transfusion before he was taken away to the
specialist hospital.

The police said five suspects had been arrested in connection with the blast
believed to have been targeted at the two churches.

The Niger State Police Public Relations Officer, Richard Oguiche, who
confirmed the incident, disclosed that five suspects have been arrested. He
said investigations had commenced to unravel perpetrators of the act.

The pastor in charge of the Christ Embassy Church, Pastor Uyi Idubayi, said
that the bomb was targeted at his car.

According to him, three strange men that planted the explosive were sighted
by the security team of the church who called his attention to the suspicious
sack that was left behind by the men.

“Because of what is happening in the country, we created a security team. We
were having the (Sunday) service when the head of the security team informed
me that he saw three strange men near my car.

“On getting there, we saw a sack containing something like a cylinder; so we
knew that it was a bomb. We quickly placed a call to security agents who
advised us to evacuate the church and the surrounding area. But before the
security men got here, the bomb went off, but no one died; only four or five
people sustained minor injuries.

“Jesus Christ is alive; I think their plan was to detonate the bomb when
worshippers would be coming out of the church so they can record maximum
casualties, but God helped us and we discovered the bomb before it could be
detonated”, he said.

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