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Two people died on the spot, including the wife of the committee chair. Four others were critically injured, and were rushed to hospital, where one died.
Suleja is situated close to the Nigerian capital, Abuja. The area may have been picked as a softer target, since security in the capital has been tightened and a curfew is in place there.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the blast, the attack follows unconfirmed reports of a message issued by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram warning Nigerians to avoid Christians, security agents and government institutions and functions, or risk death.
Over the weekend, the northeastern city of Maiduguri suffered a further upsurge in violence.
On Saturday night, multiple explosions rocked parts of Maiduguri. Also on Saturday, members of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) charged with security in the state are reported to have gone “on a rampage and caused a lot of havoc” after an army patrol was targeted in a bomb and gun attack by Boko Haram.
According to local residents, the military closed off the area where the attack occurred, and went from house to house rounding up and executing males within a certain age bracket, who were deemed to be possible members of Boko Haram.
On Sunday, churches in Maiduguri remained closed following the previous night’s violence and warnings of imminent targeted attacks by the Islamist group.