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Gunmen kill six in north-east Nigeria church attack

Published on Dec 26, 2012 6:07 AM
A picture taken on Dec 25, 2011 shows people standing in front of the partially destroyed St Theresa Catholic Church after a bomb blast in the Madala Zuba district of Nigeria's capital Abuja. Gunmen who attacked a church in northern Nigeria on Christmas Eve killed six people, including the pastor, then set the building on fire, residents and police said on Dec 25, 2012. -- PHOTO : AFP

KADUNA, Nigeria (REUTERS) - Gunmen killed six people at a church in north-east Nigeria early on Tuesday, the third year running that Christmas services have come under deadly attack in the country, the military said.

The strike took place after a Christmas Eve midnight service outside the town of Potiskum in north-eastern Yobe state, where Islamist sect Boko Haram has carried out several attacks this year.

"Unknown gunmen attempted to attack Potiskum but were repelled by the troops. While they were fleeing, they attacked a church in a village known as Jiri," said military spokesman Eli Lazarus, who confirmed that six people were killed.

Members of Boko Haram have killed hundreds in a campaign to impose sharia law in northern Nigeria. The group killed dozens in a series of bombings across northern Nigeria on churches on Christmas Day last year, mirroring similar attacks in 2010 which killed more than 40.

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