The Saint John's Catholic Church was conducting its morning mass when the suicide bomber struck. A reporter with the Associated Press
was said to have heard the explosion after 9 a.m. Sunday.
The Voice of America reported that the attacker detonated a vehicle loaded with explosives during a security check outside the church.
“They attempted to go into the church when the service was going on,” the Voice of America
quoted state deputy police spokesman Steven Opitoju as saying. “Fortunately the barrier created and the security men prevented them from gaining church access into the church premises.”
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Islamist militant group known as Boko Haram has owned up to similar attacks across the north.
Boko Haram, meaning "western education is sinful," wants sharia law applied across all northern states in Nigeria.
The group became popular for its increasing violence after the sect's founder Mohammed Yusuf was killed in police custody in 2009 after an uprising led to the killing of 700 people.
Boko Haram at the beginning of the year said it's killing of Christians was justifiable revenge
attacks following the death o f its leaders an d members.