MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — A radical Islamist sect says a member blamed for a deadly Christmas Day church bombing in Nigeria is dead.
A statement attributed to the Boko Haram sect and obtained Sunday by The Associated Press said the group is happy about Habibu Bama's "martyrdom."
Nigeria's State Security Service said Bama, a former soldier, died after sustaining injuries from a gun battle between security forces and the sect in the northeastern city of Damaturu earlier this week.
Authorities had been searching for Bama in connection with the Dec. 25 bombing of St. Theresa Catholic Church near the capital, Abuja, killing at least 44 people.
Officials also believe he was involved in a federal police headquarters bombing and the United Nations headquarters suicide car bombing in Abuja last August that killed 25 people.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for all three attacks.