Three Killed, 38 Wounded In Nigerian Sectarian Violence

Posted February 26th, 2012 at 12:40 pm (UTC-5)
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A suicide car bombing outside a church in central Nigeria killed at least three people and wounded 38 others.

The bombing at the Church of Christ in the central city of Jos sparked rioting by Christian youth. Two people, believed to be Muslims, were killed in reprisal attacks.

Sunday's attack came as a 24-hour curfew was ordered in the northeastern city of Gombe, where at least 12 people were killed Friday at police headquarters. Police have not confirmed if all the victims were officers, but they suspect the radical Islamic group Boko Haram is behind the attack. Authorities repelled a second attack at a prison.

Also Friday, in the northwest city of Kano, police say gunmen on a motorcycle killed five worshippers at a mosque. No one has claimed responsibility, but officials believe Boko Haram is involved.

Boko Haram has waged violent attacks in its campaign to implement strict Islamic law across Nigeria, which is roughly divided between Muslims in the north and Christians in the south.

The radical group claimed responsibility for one of the deadliest attacks in Kano that killed 185 people last month. It also admitted to killing at least 44 people in a Christmas Day bombing at a Catholic church outside Abuja, Nigeria's capital.

Following the Christmas attack, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in areas hard hit by violence blamed on Boko Haram.

Mr. Jonathan said the measure impacted parts of Yobe and Borno states in the northeast, Plateau state in central Nigeria, and Niger state in the east. He said the temporary closure of borders in those areas was necessary to address security challenges and restore normalcy to the country.

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