Nigerian soldiers patrolled the streets of Kaduna Monday, a day after at least 10 people were killed and 145 wounded in a suicide church bombing and reprisal violence.
Many residents remained indoors as soldiers mounted checkpoints and frisked motorists and passersby. A number of businesses were also shut following the attack.
In June, Kaduna saw a heavy outbreak of reprisal attacks after church bombings, but Sunday’s mob violence appeared so far to have been limited to three deaths in the immediate aftermath of the suicide blast at St. Rita Catholic Church.
Christian mobs had roamed the area near the church in the Malali neighbourhood on Sunday after the attack, targeting people they presumed to be Muslims, including one man who was burnt alive.
On Monday, residents said roadblocks were mounted around the scene of the blast and the two flashpoint districts of Goni-Gora and Tudun-Wada.
“There has been heavy military deployment since yesterday following the attack. This morning two armoured cars and more troops arrived in these areas,” said Emmanuel Mayaki, a resident of Goni-Gora.
Another resident, Hadila Johnson, spoke of an increased presence of soldiers and a number of checkpoints. He said the roads leading to the church were cordoned off by soldiers.
Military spokesman Colonel Sani Usman told AFP the heavy presence of troops was “to restore law and order.”
The attack on the church during the morning service left at least seven people dead in addition to the bomber, while at least three people were killed in reprisal violence. The bomb attack wounded 145 people.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the church blast, the incident was similar to previous attacks blamed on Islamist extremist group Boko Haram.