NEMA’s figure contradicted initial claims by the Kaduna State Police that only the suicide bomber died in the suicide bomb attack. Several survivors who witnessed the bombing said that they saw several dead worshipers after the attack.
A security source in Kaduna confirmed that some other people were attacked and killed immediately after the terror attack. The sources said security agents in the city were trying to manage the tense situation in order to avert escalation of the reprisal attacks.
According to Reverend Father Anthony Zaka, the deputy communications director of the media center at the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna, the attacker rammed his car through the wall and inside the church before the explosion. He stated that five worshipers died on the spot and that four of the seriously wounded parishioners died at the hospital within the last one hour. He expressed fear that the casualty figures would rise in the coming hours and days.
Father Zaka also disclosed that the officiating priest as well as hundreds of other worshipers sustained serious to critical injuries in the attack.
UPDATE 4: A rescue official said three people were killed and others wounded in the attack.
According to witnesses and police, the vehicle was packed with explosives, wounding several people.
Eyewitnesses said two bombers had struck different parts of the church in Kaduna.
The heavy explosion also damaged so many buildings around the area.
But Aminu Lawan, Kaduna Police Public Relations Officer, said there was only one confirmed bomber and that no casualties had yet been confirmed apart from the bomber himself.
Another witness, Daniel Kazah, a member of the Catholic cadets in the church, said he had seen three bodies on the church floor. “But still others were taken to the mortuary,” he said.
UPDATE 3: Kaduna Police Public Relations Officer , Aminu Lawan said the police and other security agencies are on top of the situation and will ensure the safety of lives and property of the citizens within the area.
UPDATE 2: “There was a loud explosion and I could see smoke on the horizon,” one resident said, adding there were claims of clashes breaking out between Christians and Muslims afterward.
UPDATE 1: A lone car bomber approached the church gate hoping to quietly drive into the church before exploding the bomb but the security men at the gate refused him entry.
The bomber then reversed his car and rammed it forcefully against the gate of the church, the gate caved in as the bomb exploded injuring several churchgoers.
Nigerian troops have cordoned off the area while the police and Kaduna state government officials are calming down christian residents in the area to avoid religious confrontations that typically follows such attack in the state.
Report reaching us says a suicide bomber today (Sunday) hit St. Rita Catholic Church in Ungwar Yero, Malali area of Kaduna metropolis.
The attack occurred around 8:45am during the morning mass.
Reverend father seriously injured.