The death toll from an attack last Sunday against a Pentecostal church in the neighborhood of Yelwa, northeastern city of Bauchi, is growing. According to the latest figures released by the head of ‘Christian Association of Nigeria’, quoted by local daily ‘Vanguard’, 21 people were killed and 45 others were injured.
In his speech, the Rev. Lawi Pokti did not, however, limit himself to update the death toll from the suicide bombing that was “directly responsible for the death of 12 faithful.” Pokti accused the Nigerian military of “extrajudicial killings of unarmed people,” attributing the regular military with responsibility for the killing of eight people and injuring 20 others. “We declare that the security people have no moral, ethcial or empirical justification to have opened fire on women, youth and children who came to mourn their loved ones. We are faced with extra-judicial killings for which the Nigerian Army needs to show remorse,” said the head of ‘Christian Association of Nigeria’.
Meanwhile, the Islamic group rooted in the North, Boko Haram, claimed responsibility on Sunday in a statement sent to media Nigerian e-mail, signed by its purported spokesman Abu Qaqa. Written in the local Hausa language, the text does not specify the reasons for the attack or the identity of the bomber. Much of the press pointed the finger at journalists who write only “items in hand, taking into account the public announcements of the Nigerian authorities, but not ours” Qaga added, accusing even the “security agencies of giving false information to the President Goodluck Jonathan about death tolls from clashes with militants.”
The spokesman for the group, which since 2009 has killed over 1200 people, invites the media to see whether or not ”the military is responsible for extrajudicial killings of civilians (…) we have the facts and evidence.”