Churchgoers killed in new Nigeria attack


At least 16 people have been killed after gunmen - who residents believe to be Boko Haram extremists - attacked a church in Nigeria.

A screengrab taken from a video released on YouTube on April 12 2012 apparently showing Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau (C) flanked by militants. (AFP/YouTube)

Gabriel Olorunyomi, an army commander in Kogi state, confirmed that Tuesday's attack on the Deeper Life Church in Okene but said details of the incident were sketchy.

The attack came barely 24 hours after the jihadist group, which seeks to establish Sharia law in Nigeria, claimed responsibility for an attack Sunday that killed six security personnel in Damaturu in north-east Nigeria.

The attack in Okene was the first major strike on a church in Kogi state. Security officials in the past had demobilised bombs there that Boko Haram was suspected of planting.

At least three bombmaking factories have also been discovered in Okene since 2011.

Churches have become targets for the sect with more than 100 deaths recorded in various attacks in the past year.

Prominent among them was a Christmas church attack in Madalla, which left more than 40 people dead. – Sapa-dpa

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