JOS, Nigeria, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Police said on Sunday they had arrested eight Nigerian Christians suspected of trying to blow up a rival faction of their own church, hours after an Islamist suicide bomber blew up a Nigerian church service.
Police in Bauchi, a religiously mixed but predominantly Muslim city in northern Nigeria, said the suspects had been found with explosives and other weapons at the Evangelical Church of West Africa.
“Some people attempted to attack the ECWA Church. It was a rival group within the church ... this morning,” police commissioner Ikechukwu Ayo Aduba said by telephone.
“When we got the report we sent our men who arrested about eight of them and seized the explosives.”
The incident followed a church bombing by the Boko Haram Islamist sect in Jos that killed at least two people and wounded 38, one of several attacks on churches by the sect since Christmas day.
Security officials say one of the major worries with Boko Haram, whose insurgency is plaguing much of northern Nigeria, is that criminal gangs or rival political groups can use it as a cover to settle scores or carry out violence they know is likely to be blamed on the sect. (Reporting by Buhari Bello; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Alessandra Rizzo)