FURTHER facts emerged on Tuesday about the factors that informed the attack on St. Rita’s Catholic Church, Malali, Kaduna on Sunday as investigations have revealed that the attackers picked on the church because it was seen as a “soft target.”
According to sources, the church is located in a rural area where the presence of the military and the mobile police was scanty.
Investigators working for federal authorities over the Kaduna church attack were said to have informed government sources that the perpetrators had engaged in surveillance around the area and picked the church because it was seen as a “soft target.”
It was discovered that other areas were well-fortified and had serious military presence and that entering such locations could pose challenges to the suicide bomber.
According to investigations, the suicide bomber also chose to strike at the period when the church was having Holy Communion as a strategy to get as many worshippers as possible.
It was gathered that one of the factors that also informed the strike was the fact that besides being a soft target, the church also harbours a slightly big congregation of 1,200, which can guarantee the suicide bomber a number of casualties.
Sources close to the authorities confirmed to the Nigerian Tribune that a preliminary investigation report from the security agencies confirmed that the attackers had planned to ensure enormous casualty figure from the 1,200 worshippers.
“The suicide bomber decided to strike at the period when the church was having Holy Communion and the plan was to attain maximum effect, because most of the worshippers would be kneeling down. That is why the bomber chose to hit from the side of the fence and not through the main barricaded entrance,” a source noted.
A report put together on the issue said: “The area(where the church is located) is a local area and the military/MOPOL presence was not heavy, hence BH (Boko Haram) people on surveillance chose the place for attack because it is what they call ‘soft target’ in security parlance. Other areas are well-fortified with heavy security patrol and they could not penetrate.
“They (the attackers) needed the attack to give the impression that they are still in force because many of their high profile leaders are being arrested.”