Loud explosion shakes area near church in northern Nigeria

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Another resident also reported hearing the blast.

The explosion was said to have occurred in the Malali area of the city. Kaduna, a major city in Nigeria’s north, has been previously hit by attacks blamed on Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.

In June, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for three suicide attacks on churches in Kaduna state, where the city of Kaduna is located, which led to deadly rioting. Dozens of people were killed in the violence.

Boko Haram’s insurgency in northern and central Nigeria has led to more than 2,800 deaths since 2009. While Muslims have often been its victims, it has in recent months specifically targeted churches.

President Goodluck Jonathan has said the group is seeking to incite a religious crisis in Africa’s most populous nation, roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.

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