Suicide bombing at Nigerian church injures 8 on New Year's Day

by Staff |

(Reuters/Landov)Photo: Men are shown walking amid rubble after another Boko Haram attack in Nigeria in this file photo.

KADUNA, Nigeria (Christian Examiner) -- A suicide bomber blew himself up at the gates of an evangelical church in Nigeria's northeastern city of Gombe during a New Year's Day service, wounding eight people, an official for the country's Red Cross said.

"This morning while people were in church for the New Year worship, a suicide attacker rode on a motorcycle trying to gain entrance to the premises of the church. When he was stopped at the gates by the church guards ... he blew himself up and injured eight people," the official told Reuters.

An eyewitness said the volunteer guards were wary of potential attacks from Sunni jihadist organization Boko Haram, though they have not claimed responsibility for the bombing. Fortunately, the bomber, who showed up at about 9 a.m., was not permitted inside the church.

"Some people nearby were injured from the blast but none of the injuries are life-threatening," local man Samson Luka told CNN.

This is the second failed attack in two days. On New Year's Eve, a woman attempted to blow herself up in the Bolari military barracks. The woman had hidden a suicide belt underneath her veil, but when she refused to stop and be searched, guards fired on her.

"The soldiers opened fire on the woman and the suicide belt concealed under her hijab exploded, killing her," resident Adamu Kuntau said.

Reuters contributed to this report.