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Harvest Field Pentecostal was attacked by a car suicide bomber June 3, 2012. The bombing occurred in Bauchi, the capital city of the Bauchi state in Nigeria. Around fifteen are believed to have been killed and at least thirty have been wounded. The attack occurred in between the first and second services of the morning when many people were entering and leaving the church. The Bauchi State Government has called the attack an act of cowardice.
Commissioner of Police Mohammed Ladan explained the events of the attack. According to the commissioner, “the suicide bomber in a vehicle, a Honda Civic, attempted to force his way into the iron barricade at the entrance of Living Faith Church in Yelwa but was denied entry. In the process, the suicide bomber succeeded in detonation his explosives at the barrier opposite Harvest Field Church of Faith.”
Although the car did not hit the church building the blast caused a wall of the church to fall. The roof then caved in injuring and killing some of those inside.
Johson Akpeno, the Associate Pastor of the church, asked members not to retaliate and to remember the teachings of Christ.
The radical Islamist group Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the Hausa language of Nigeria, claimed responsibility for the attack. In its statement claiming responsibility, the sect also threatened journalists across Nigeria for writing biased stories about the bombing and against its group.
Another explosive device was found under a nearby bridge that is also near Dass Motor Park along Yelwa Road. The bomb was found in time and was defused by a police anti-bombing squad.
Nigeria is a nation divided religiously into mainly Muslims in the north and Christians in the south. Nigeria has been battling with the radical group Boko Haram since around 2001 and is based in the northeast of Nigeria. Their main goal is to impose Sharia law across Nigeria. Boko Haram has killed more than 550 people this year alone according to the Associated Press.
On June 5, 2012 the Nigerian police entered into a gunfight with Boko Haram militants in the group’s stronghold city of Maiduguri, in the northeast of the country. The gunfight lasted several hours and several civilians were hit with stray bullets. Sixteen suspected members were killed but no Nigerian soldiers were harmed. After the attack the Nigerian government seized weapons and explosives from a house during a house-to-house search of the area.