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article imageNigeria: Twin bomb explosions hit military college, Jaji

By JohnThomas Didymus     Nov 25, 2012 in World
Kaduna - Reports say several people were killed and injured in a double bomb attack at a church in the barracks of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji, near Kaduna.
The AFCSC is one of the country's most important military colleges, training both Nigerian and foreign military personnel. An attack on Jaji is, therefore, of symbolic significance regardless of casualties or damage done.
According to the Associated Press, two separate car bomb explosions hit a Protestant church in the barracks of the AFCSC, Jaji town, north-central Nigeria.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesman Yushau Shuaib, said the first explosion occurred after the church service.
The second blast occurred minutes after the first.
However, Reuters reports that according to Army spokesman Bola Koleoso, a bus drove into the side of the St. Andrew Military Protestant Church at Jaji and exploded, five minutes after a service started, at around 1105 GMT.
According to the Army spokesman, explosives inside a Toyota Camry detonated outside the church ten minutes later. At least 11 people died and 30 were injured.
This Day Live in its report says the blast happened around 1 p.m. local time (12:000 GMT), after the church service was over. According to This Day Live, the first car bomb blast did not cause any casualties. The second blast occurred after people gathered at the scene of the first blast. It killed and injured several people.
According to This Day Live, a source said: "The church service was over and many people had left leaving the elders of the church behind. Suddenly the bomb exploded then people rushed to rescue them, then minutes after the first explosion, the second one exploded killing many people while many others were injured."
The injured persons were taken to the AFCSC Hospital within the barracks.
Although, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, security officials will assume that the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, that has been targeting state institutions in recent times is responsible.
The attack comes two days after a special military task force announced that it would give $1.8 million for information leading to the arrest of Boko Haram leaders. According to Reuters, the army on Saturday offered N290 million naira ($1.8 million) for information leading to the capture of 19 leading members of Boko Haram, and N50 million for Abubakar Shekau, believed to be leader of the militant sect.
The latest bomb attack also comes soon after the 23rd Armored Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Yola, arrested Malam Muhammed Ibrahim, 24, a local leader of Boko Haram in Mubi local government area of Adamawa State in north-eastern Nigeria. He was arrested at a military checkpoint in a Honda Hellsen saloon car, This Day Live reports, and was found in possession of a pistol and a sum of N3.5 million.
The commander of the 23 Armored Brigade, Brigadier John Nwoaga, said the man gave information that led to the discovery of a bomb factory in an isolated area of Yola town.
Boko Haram has been targeting churches in northern Nigeria. There were three attacks in June in which several people died. According to AP, on October 28, last month, a church, St. Rita's Catholic church, about 25 miles from Jaji, was attacked by a suicide bomber who crashed an SUV loaded with explosives into the building while a mass was holding. At least seven people died and about 100 were wounded.
The incident sparked a reprisal in which two other people died.
Southern Kaduna state is located in Nigeria's so-called Middle Belt, that is roughly the dividing line between its predominantly Muslim north and Christian south.
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