At least 25 die in terror blasts at churches

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At least 25 people were killed yesterday when an explosion ripped through a Catholic church during Christmas Mass near Nigeria’s capital.

A radical Muslim sect waging an increasingly sophisticated sectarian fight claimed responsibility for the attack and another bombing in the restive city of Jos, as explosions also struck the nation’s north east. One blast struck a church in the north-eastern town of Gadaka and two explosions rocked the northern city of Damaturu, making five blasts in total.

The Christmas Day attacks show the growing national ambition of the sect known as Boko Haram, which is responsible for at least 491 killings this year.

The assaults come a year after a series of Christmas Eve bombings in Jos claimed by the militants left at least 32 dead and 74 wounded.

The Vatican denounced yesterday’s attacks as a sign of “cruelty and absurd, blind hatred” that shows no respect for human life.

Vatican spokesman the Rev Federico Lombardi said the Catholic church was praying for all Nigerians confronting “terrorist violence”.