About 2,000+ mourners crowded showed up at the St. Theresa’s catholic church in Madalla for the funeral service of victims of the Christmas day bomb blast at the Church. Two months after, the church is said to have visible blood stains .
Vanguard reports that:
“Ten coffins were on display inside St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla outside the capital Abuja during the service, which saw cries of anger as well as prayers for those who committed the “diabolic” bombing.
In a sign of sectarian tensions that the Christmas bombing and other attacks have sparked, mourners at the church reacted with a chorus of “no, no, no” following a suggestion that a local Muslim leader be allowed to speak.
Islamist group Boko Haram claimed a wave of Christmas Day attacks, the deadliest at St. Theresa, where at least 44 people died.
The violence sparked fears of reprisals in a country roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south, though Boko Haram’s victims have included many Muslims.
Some at the church wept as they approached the altar, where the coffins included that of a church guard draped in Nigeria’s green and white national flag. Dried blood remained visible on an outside wall.
“Beyond forgiveness, let us pray for the conversion of those who have allowed themselves to be used by the devil to perpetrate such a diabolic act targetting and killing innocent men, women and children,” said Abuja Archbishop John Onaiyekan.
Many of those killed by the bomb that ripped through a crowd exiting mass had already been buried by their families. Wednesday’s service was designated for the 26 victims who were parishioners of the church.
There were conflicting accounts of what happened in the attack. Local police said the blast occured as an explosive-packed mini-bus was trying to approach the church.
“If that vehicle that brought the bomb had been allowed to come in, it could have been worse,” said the Bishop of Minna diocese, Martin Uzoukwu.
A total of 17 people were buried on Wednesday at a nearby gravesite, including those left unrecognisable by the force of the attack……”