Boko Haram Claims Deadly Nigeria Church Attacks

Posted June 10th, 2012 at 2:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Nigeria's militant Islamic sect Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for two church attacks on Sunday that killed 3 people and wounded 41.

During a conference call hours after the attacks, a spokesman for Boko Haram told reporters the group was responsible.

The first attack took place in the central city of Jos, where a suicide bomber detonated his car outside of a church. Local officials say two people were killed and 41 wounded. Christian youths assaulted local Muslims in retaliation. Jos is in Nigeria's “middle belt,” which divides the country's mostly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

The second attack took place in the city of Biu in northeastern Borno state. Witnesses say gunmen opened fire during a church service, killing at least 1 person.

Boko Haram does not recognize Nigeria's government or constitution and says it is fighting to establish a strict Islamic state.

Authorities say the radical sect is responsible for similar attacks that have killed scores of people, mostly in the north.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous nations with about 150 million people, divided roughly between Muslims and Christians.