Nigeria church bombed in Bauchi, Boko Haram flashpoint

Wreckage of car outside church in Bauchi. 23 Sept 2012
Image caption Bauchi has suffered a number of bombings and shootings blamed on Boko Haram

A suicide bomber has attacked a church in Bauchi, northern Nigeria, killing at least two people and injuring 48, according to the Red Cross.

Police said the bomber's car was stopped at the gates of St John's Church where he detonated explosives packed inside the vehicle.

Bauchi has often been targeted by the Islamist Boko Haram group, which wants to impose Sharia law across Nigeria.

Sunday attacks on churches took place regularly earlier this year.

Doctors in Bauchi warned that many of the injuries were serious and the death toll could rise.

Speaking at a nearby hospital, Bauchi deputy police commissioner T. Stevens told journalists: "The situation has been brought under control. We have our men minding all areas."

Attacks in central and northern Nigeria blamed on Boko Haram have killed some 1,400 people since 2010.

On 16 September, Nigerian security forces said they killed Boko Haram's spokesman Abu Qaqa in a gun battle in the northern state of Kano.

However, the group has not confirmed his death.

Meanwhile, the military in Yobe state imposed a 24-hour curfew on two cities as soldiers went door-to-door, searching for Boko Haram members.

"Residents of the two cities are to remain indoors until further notice to enable security personnel to fish out Boko Haram terrorists," a military spokesman told the AFP news agency.