Two churches were attacked during Sunday services in Nigeria killing several people, a tactic commonly used by the Islamist sect Boko Haram. At least 41 people were injured in the attacks, according to reports.
Witnesses told Reuters that no one was killed in a car bombing outside a church in the central city of Jos. Police said that mobs of people killed two people in retaliation, without elaborating.
In the attack on another church, located in northeastern Borno state, three gunmen shot up the congregation, with witnesses saying that several people were killed but did not specify.
“Three gunmen came to the premises of the church and started firing at people outside the church before going into the main building to carry on their killings,” Hamidu Wakawa, who was attending the service, told Reuters.
No group claimed responsibility, but Boko Haram has carried out a number of church attacks in Nigeria, including one that killed dozens on Christmas day.
Ola Makinde, the head of the Methodist church in Nigeria, told All Africa news service on Saturday that neither Boko Haram nor anyone else could turn Nigeria into an Islamist state.
“[Boko Haram] say that Western education is evil and they are using telephone, they are using e-mail and they are saying they will Islamize Nigeria; nobody can Islamize Nigeria,” he was quoted as saying.
Boko Haram, which translates to “Western education is sinful” in the local Hausa language, has been labeled as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department and other Western governments.