National/World

Vatican decries Christmas blast at Nigeria church

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Vatican has denounced the deadly Christmas Day attacks on Nigerian churches as a sign of "cruelty and absurd, blind hatred" that shows no respect for human life.

Early Sunday, an explosion ripped through a Catholic church during Christmas Mass near Nigeria's capital of Abuja, killing a reported 25 people. A second explosion struck near a church in Nigeria's central city of Jos, while two other explosions hit the northeast state of Yobe.

There was no immediately claim of responsibility, but Nigeria has suffered several sectarian attacks blamed on the radical Muslim sect Boko Haram.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said the Catholic church was praying for all Nigerians confronting "this terrorist violence in these days that should be filled with peace and joy."

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