Islamic extremist bombing, alleged military shooting, kill 21
By Michael Ireland
Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
BAUCHI, NIGERIA (ANS) -- Amid allegations that soldiers were responsible for at least eight of 21 deaths after the suicide bombing of two churches here on Sunday (June 3), sources told Compass Direct News (CDN) that most of those injured from the blast and alleged military shooting were in critical condition.
Three of 10 people injured after suicide bombing collapsed a wall of the Harvest Field Church of Christ were in critical condition.
Compass reports that a statement reportedly from the Muslim extremist Boko Haram sect claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of the Living Faith church in Yelwa, a Christian settlement on the outskirts of the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi.
Compass said the blast also collapsed a wall of the nearby Harvest Field Church of Christ, leaving three people in critical condition.
Compass added that a staff member told the agency on condition of anonymity, that of 61 people taken to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital Bauchi after the blast, 38 were in critical condition; the other 23 have been treated and sent home.
Church leaders said at a press conference on Monday (June 4) that 45 Christians were considered injured, the agency reported.
"Twenty-five out of these were injured by the bomb blast, while 20 sustained various degrees of injuries from the gunshots by soldiers," said the Rev. Lawi Pokti, chairman of the Bauchi chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, who said the military shot eight Christians to death.
Compass reported that the Nigerian military has yet to respond to the allegations.
In similar church attacks in Nigeria, Compass stated that Christians angry that their brethren were killed in the presence of security agencies have been shot for refusing military orders to leave.
Johnson Elogva, associate pastor at Living Faith, said most of the injuries were severe. "Most of our members are critically ill in the hospitals," he said. "Some with first degree, second degree burns."
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