A 24-hour curfew has been declared in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, following the Sunday morning bombing of churches and reprisal attacks, which reportedly left over a dozen dead and scores of others injured.
The curfew would allow soldiers and police to restore order and prevent the situation from degenerating into further chaos on the streets.
“Never heard this many sirens blaring at once my entire life,” a Twitter user who appears to reside in the area posted. “Palpable tension around here,” he added. Later, he tweeted “word on the street is that Northerners are now regrouping for reprisal attacks on the Southerners.” He had earlier tweeted, saying “serious explosion in Kaduna! Southerners retaliating! Smoke everywhere... The Lord is my Shepard.”
“A local Red Cross worker told the Associated Press that at least 12 people had been killed and 80 injured in the attacks,” the BBC reported.
According to AFP, about five churches were affected in the blasts in the cities of Zaria and Kaduna and in the southern Christian-dominated areas of Nassarawa and Barnawa.
Attack on churches appears to have become a weekly Sunday occurrence in Nigeria’s north. No one has claimed responsibility for the latest attack. Similar attacks in Kaduna and other northern states have however been blamed on Boko Haram. Last week, the group attacked two churches during services in Bauchi, leaving seven people dead.
Boko Haram has previously said their attacks were carried out in revenge for Muslims killed in central Nigeria during earlier rounds of violence.