A car bomb exploded along a busy roadway this morning in a central Nigeria city, killing at least 38 people in the latest attack on a region beset by religious, ethnic, and political violence, an official said. The blast struck Kaduna, leaving charred motorcycles and debris strewn across a major road in a popular part of the city. Nearby hotels had their windows blown out of by the force of the powerful explosion. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, though suspicion immediately fell on Boko Haram.
The explosion badly damaged the nearby All Nations Christian Assembly Church as churchgoers worshipped at an Easter service, the possible target of the bomber. Witnesses said it appeared the explosive-laden car attempted to go into the church compound before it detonated. "We were in the holy communion service and I was exhorting my people and all of a sudden, we heard a loud noise that shattered all our windows and doors, destroyed our fans and some of our equipment in the church," Pastor Joshua Raji said. Another witness said he was riding a motorcycle just behind the car when it exploded. "God saw our heart and saved us," he said. (Read more Nigeria stories.)