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Scores injured in suicide bombing outside church in Nigeria

Several people were injured on Thursday outside an evangelical church in Gombe, the Gombe State capital, when a suicide bomber set off his explosive vest amid the country’s ongoing battle against an Islamist insurgency.


 “There was an explosion outside the ECWA church this morning. A suicide bomber who was restrained from getting into the church blew himself up,” Abubakar Yakubu, who heads the Nigeria Red Cross in Gombe, told the AFP.

“Luckily no one was killed but some people were mildly injured.”

A witness told AFP that the man arrived during the service at the Evangelist Church of West Africa in Gombe and refused to park his motorcycle outside a security barrier set up by volunteers.

“He insisted on riding through the barrier,” said Dahiru Badamasi, who lives in the neighbourhood.

“It was while he was arguing with the volunteers that his suicide belt exploded.”

Another witness heard an explosion and rushed outside.

“I saw a man leading three children with their new dresses stained with blood,” said Jummai Maifada.

The North-East has seen a relentless string of attacks blamed on Boko Haram militants.

Gombe, capital of the eponymous state, has until recently been spared the violence that has shaken the neighbouring states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa, where Boko Haram has taken around 20 towns.

But attacks have increased in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, there was panic on New Year eve in Gombe as a large explosion was heard at the Army barrack in the town.

It was learnt that two suicide bombers tried to smuggle their ways into the Mammy Market at the Army barracks but were asked to be frisked by soldiers.

They refused and they were turned back by the soldiers on guard.

However, the explosive devices they strapped on their bodies went off killing the two suicide bombers and injuring those within the vicinity including the soldiers who just turned them back.

An eyewitness, who preferred anonymity, told our correspondent on the telephone from Gombe that, “Two suspected suicide bombers arrived the scene at about 8pm local time on a motorcycle but vehemently refused to be searched by the security men at the gate.

“Just moments after they were refused passage by the soldiers, they detonated the bomb strapped on them right there at the gate.”

He said the two corpses of the suicide bombers laid on the floor on Wednesday night and the soldiers sustained varying degrees of injuries but there was no death on the part of the security men.

He said the entire place had since been cordoned off by the military.

Credit: Punch

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