Nigeria’s President Meets With Security Chiefs On Curbing Violence

Posted December 29th, 2011 at 10:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan has summoned his security chiefs for an emergency meeting to discuss growing violence blamed on radical Islamists.

At the meeting Thursday in Abuja, the president urged security chiefs to go after the sponsors of radical groups, rather than those who only obey their command.

The meeting Thursday in the capital Abuja came in the wake of recent attacks in northeastern Nigeria, including four on Christmas day, which killed about 40 people, most of them Christians. Wednesday night, there was an explosion in the northern city of Gombe. It is not clear how many people were wounded.

The violence is blamed on Boko Haram, an Islamist sect that has claimed multiple bombings and shootings in the north and in the capital. The name of the group means “western education is a sin.”

Tuesday night, unknown attackers threw a homemade bomb into an Islamic school in Nigeria's southern Delta state, in an apparent sectarian reprisal that wounded six children and one adult.

The violence is raising fears that the militants are trying to ignite sectarian strife. It has continued despite the government crackdown on the militants.

The opposition has criticized the Jonathan administration for failing to control Boko Haram.

Nigeria is roughly divided into a mostly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.