At least 38 killed in Xmas Eve attacks


Multiple explosions in central Nigeria have killed 32 people and six others died in attacks by Muslim sect members on two churches in the north, officials said Saturday.
Police spokesman Mohammed Lerama said that 32 people died and at least 74 were injured in four bomb blasts Friday night that went off in close succession in different parts of Jos in central Nigeria — a region violently divided between Christians and Muslims.
Manasie Phampe, the Red Cross secretary in Jos, gave slightly different figures and said that 52 people were injured, and that some of the injured were in intensive care at the Jos University Teaching Hospital.
“We have commenced investigations and are making efforts to calm people down,” said Lerama.
Religious violence has claimed over 500 lives this year in Jos and neighboring towns and villages, but the situation was believed to have calmed down.
Nigeria, a country of 150 million people, is almost evenly split between Muslims in the north and the predominantly Christian south. The blasts happened in central Nigeria, in the nation’s “middle belt,” where dozens of ethnic groups vie for control of fertile lands.
The violence, though fractured across religious lines, often has more to do with local politics, economics and rights to grazing lands. The government of Plateau State, where Jos is the capital, is controlled by Christian politicians who have blocked Muslims from being legally recognized as citizens. That has locked many out of prized government jobs in a region where the tourism industry and tin mining have collapsed in the last decades.
“What has happened on the eve of Christmas is unfortunate, especially at this time when we want to ensure peace and security in the state,” said Gregory Yenlong, the state commissioner for information. He said that nobody had claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks in Jos.
This is the first major attack in Jos since the Plateau State government lifted a curfew on May 20. The curfew had first been imposed in November 2008 during postelection violence but it was extended in January following clashes between Christian and Muslim groups.
More than 300 people_ mostly Muslim — were killed in the January violence in Jos and surrounding villages.
The curfew improved the security within a city that has hosted numerous peace conferences to address the violence but the killings continued outside.
Twelve people were gruesomely murdered in March in a small Christian village, attackers cutting out most of their victims’ tongues and there are still regular attacks outside Jos.
Also Friday, six people died in attacks on two churches in Nigeria’s northern region.
State Police chief Mohammed Abubakar said members of the Muslim sect, Boko Haram, attacked two churches at opposite ends of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, late Christmas Eve.
Maiduguri is about 320 miles (520 kilometers) northeast of Jos. The attacks in both cities have not been linked, but Boko Haram was first based in the city of Bauchi, only 75 miles (120 kilometers) from Jos, before moving its operations to Maiduguri.
Danjuma Akawu, secretary of Victory Baptist Church said about 30 men attacked his church on Christmas Eve, killing five people, including the pastor, two choir members rehearsing for a late-night carol service and two passersby who were attacked by the mob
Akawu, who escaped with other witnesses after climbing the church fence, said that the mob was armed with guns, knives and petro-bombs.
He said the attackers came in three cars and dragged the pastor out of his house within the church premises before shooting him to death. They drove off after setting the church and pastor’s house ablaze close to the Maiduguri International Airport.
At the opposite end of the city, Rev. Haskanda Jessu of Church of Christ in Nigeria said that three men attacked his church an hour later, killing a 60-year-old security guard, Philip Sopso. The church was empty at the time of the attack. Jessu said the attackers were armed with rifles.
The Borno State police chief said the attacks could have been prevented if police officers had heeded warnings of a planned attack.
“The police divisions had enough vehicles to prevent these killings,” Abubakar said.
Police have not made arrests but accuse Boko Haram members of a rash of targeted killings in recent months during which more than 30 people have been killed including police officers, soldiers, political and spiritual leaders.
Boko Haram means “Western education is sacrilege” in the Hausa language. Its members re-emerged recently after starting a July 2009 riot that led to a security crackdown that left 700 people dead.
The Christmas Eve killings in Jos and Maiduguri add to the tally of thousands who already have perished in Africa’s most populous country in the last decade over religious and political frictions.
Source: Associated Press – ap.com

10 Comments

  • All what is happening in my country is the fault of our leaders bcos no job no proper education no social aminities no good leadership no proper security etc why not dey wont be violent my ALLAH on his mercy grant us good leaders that will take good care of us and our properties Amin.

  • merry christmas and prosperous new year in advance. the lovers of nigeria thank the commentator mr mohammed musa who cast all the blame on the leaders. leaders please re organize yourself and wake up to musa´s challenges.however, i will like to seize this opportunity also to correct him on the other hand to correct his notion regards his opinion on education and so on . nigeria as a nation has one of the best education in the universe . if you have not known this please you better know. in the religious circle nigeria is found in the first unit according to the standard given in the words of jehoha god for which a human beign can enter the kingdom of god almighty. in the arena of security , every nations in the world know for sure that the citizen of that particular nation must join hand with the security agent to give a genuine solution to the security officers close to their domain. it is a pity to be reading in this millenium that some people are still living in a great nation like nigeria and are not enlightened enough upon the number of higher institutions in nigeria where knowledge is beign impacted daily so that you can meet the standard and the political challenges in the world. the police should help the good and law abiding citizens in nigeria to find all those who are involved in the matter of burning a church or mosque to please show the benefits of what they have learned in their places of worship to the nigerian government. if they are unable to show this you should know where they belong to!. the firmament is big enough for bed to fly without touching each other. all those who are involved in the blow blow the advice i want to give to all of you is that there is no other good country for you like nigeria, do not imbibe those who are not organized culture .understand hence forth that nigeria is your father and your mother property and no body should come and spoil it for you okay! remain bless where you are. wande!!!

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  • it was clear that 3 of the bomb attacks exploded in christian settlement and armed men randomly fired in muslim area of Amingo junction in Jos about thesame time on the eve of Xmas. The Governor was on TV same night to confirm the attacks and disclosed that it was not muslims but political rivals, my question is that why are they attacking muslims? no muslim was caught with bombs or rockets but many bombs heading for jos where intercepted by security agents in the past few months(it was on tvnews and newspaper) in the possesion of …………..i dnt want to call tribes or name,u can find out urself,,,,,,,,,,,why do they want to turn it religious? what has muslims done,

  • I think it is extremely obnoxious to suspect anyone or group,since there is no any obvious exhibit that has implicate.this is queit oblivious attack!

  • Hmmm nah real wah for these Muslims oh. Every where they go just killing killing and more killings all over the world. Were they born to terrorise? Is that all they’re good for? Haaa!

  • u most be very stupid val shit to have commented that way against muslims ,if you dont know u dont say……………..my comment was straight and simple and was not against any religion but about the real thing that is occurring in the once peaceful jos city,why dont u say good that can lead to a change rather than complicate it with some dirty grammer of urs…………………….what a pity///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

  • I dnt tink Abdul nd Mohamed read d commentary by d news men.1 tin u av 2 knw dat dis problem is a religious crisis nd nt political 4 it 2 av extended 2 d bombin of churches nd Kilin of Pastors on xmas eve.Wel i dnt d muslims cos dey r born 2 b terrorists bt i tink iraq,iran pakistan Afganistan shud b a beta place 4 u guys cos JESUS rules in Nigeria nd Christians wil continue 2 outnumba u terrorists.

  • hey joyce, u re not diff frm the others,maybe u shld find out wot the governor n his contenders had to say abt the bombing b4 u comment,u can accuse muslims 4 all muslims care,lies are being framed against muslims, muslims are being attacked and no 1 says a word,………….no matter hw the world make islam look dirty,its still the the fastest growing religion allover the world n also the only religion of God………….do u knw that Islam grew by over 200% this year in the US, find out abt islam ………………………………….peace

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