Death Toll in Nigerian Violence Passes 100

Posted November 6th, 2011 at 11:20 am (UTC-5)
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The number of Nigerians killed in a series of attacks blamed on a radical Muslim sect has climbed past 100.

Boko Haram gunmen targeted police stations, churches and an army base in small towns in northern Nigeria on Friday. It was one of the deadliest days in the sect's campaign to establish a Muslim state in the northern part of Africa's most populous country.

The attacks occurred two days before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. They have been condemned by the U.N. Security Council and by Pope Benedict, who on Sunday told worshippers in Rome that the violence serves only to sow hatred and create divisions.

Nigeria's 160 million people are divided almost in half between Muslims living mostly in the north and Christians living mostly in the south.

Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is forbidden,” claimed responsibility for an attack in late August on the U.N. headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, that claimed more than a dozen lives.