Five dead in bombing of Nigerian church

At least five people are dead and eight have been injured in a bomb blast outside a church, one of two attacks prompting the cancellation of planned religious festivities in the northern Nigerian city of Kano.

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The attack came shortly after the end of Sunday mass at the Saint Charles Catholic church, police say.

“We suspect an IED (improvised explosive device) that was thrown from across the road” at the church in Kano’s Sabon Gari district, which has suffered previous attacks by the Islamist group Boko Haram, police spokesman Frank Mba said.

Also in Kano on Sunday, a woman suicide bomber blew herself up outside a university after police prevented her carrying out an attack, injuring five officers.

“A female suicide bomber was isolated as she was walking towards the gate of the university,” Mba said, adding that she had hidden the bomb under her “long black hijab”.

“Police on duty isolated her” because she was behaving strangely.

They were about to ask a female colleague to frisk the woman when she detonated the bomb, killing herself and injuring the five police officers.

Police also said they had made safe a remote-controlled car bomb near a mosque and the home of a prominent Kano sheikh on Saturday.

“The police were alerted by some vigilant residents last night,” said Kano police spokesman Musa Magaji Majia. “Our bomb disposal personnel succeeded in defusing the IED.”

While Boko Haram, which is seeking to install an extremist Islamic state in Nigeria, has killed dozens during a recent spate of strikes in the far northeast, Kano has also seen two attacks in recent months.

Officials on Sunday moved to avert further violence, cancelling Eid festivities marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan next week.

“Given the critical situation we are in, the royal highness (of Kano state, Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) has suspended all festivities associated with the eminence including the Durbar and other traditional events that are held during the Eid festival,” an aide to the emir, Aminu Ado Bayero, said.