MUSLIM VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA
- From: Christian <mormoninfo@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 6 Nov 2011 18:21:35 -0800 (PST)
Suicide bombers, explosives target northeast Nigeria amid wave of
radical sect attacks
By Associated Press, Published: November 4
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Suicide bombers attacked a military base, a car
bomb exploded outside a barracks and explosives detonated Friday
around northeast Nigeria, a region under siege from a radical Muslim
sect, officials said. While casualties weren’t immediately clear, one
blast struck outside a school where parents had arrived to pick up
There was no claim of responsibility but blame immediately fell to the
sect known as Boko Haram, which has staged targeted assassinations and
bombings in the region, killing more than 240 people this year alone
across Nigeria’s Muslim north, according to a count by The Associated
The attacks appear to be the most bold and coordinated ever carried
out by Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege.”
In August, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing
at the United Nations headquarters in Nigeria’s capital, which killed
24 people and left another 116 wounded. Friday’s attacks involved five
separate assaults, including one on a high-profile military
The first wave of attacks struck Maiduguri, the sect’s spiritual home
in Nigeria’s arid and impoverished northeast. Borno state police
commissioner Simeon Midenda said one blast detonated around noon
outside the El-Kanemi Theological College where parents had gathered.
Midenda said others had entered the college grounds to attend Friday
prayers at a mosque located on its campus.
Witnesses who spoke to an AP journalist said they saw ambulances carry
away at least six wounded people from the site.
A short time later, suicide bombers driving a black SUV attempted to
enter a base for the military unit charged with protecting the city
from Boko Haram fighters, military spokesman Lt. Col. Hassan Ifijeh
The SUV couldn’t enter the gate and the explosives were detonated
outside of the base, which damaged several buildings in the military’s
compound, Mohammed said. The lieutenant colonel said only a few
soldiers suffered “minor injuries” from the attack.
Mohammed said blasts occurred at three other places in Maiduguri
besides the base, with no one being killed. However, government
officials routinely downplay such attacks in Nigeria over political
considerations. Mohammed’s claims could not be immediately verified by
the AP and the police commissioner declined to say how many people had
Immediately after the attack, an AP journalist saw soldiers cordon off
one neighborhood and begin an aggressive search. Earlier this week,
the military conducted house-to-house searches of some neighborhoods
to collect weapons and round up suspected members of the sect.
Hours later, another powerful car bomb detonated in Damaturu, the
capital of Yobe state, roughly 80 miles (130 kilometers) away from
Maiduguri, local police commissioner Sulaimon Lawal said. The blast
struck a three-story building that houses both offices and personal
quarters for special military police, Lawal said.
Two soldiers were wounded in the blast, while those who parked the
vehicle there apparently escaped before the explosion, he said.
A military spokesman in Nigeria’s capital Abuja did not immediately
respond to a request for comment Friday night.
The bombings come ahead of Eid al-Adha, or the feast of sacrifice,
when Muslims around the world slaughter sheep and cattle in
remembrance of Abraham’s near-sacrifice of his son. Police elsewhere
in the country had warned of violence ahead of the celebration in
Nigeria, a country of more than 160 million largely split between a
Christian south and a Muslim north. On Wednesday, police in Maiduguri
had said they broke up a plot to bomb the city over the holiday.
Boko Haram apparently has split into three factions: One remains
moderate and welcomes an end to the violence, another wants a peace
agreement with rewards similar to those offered to a different
militant group in 2009. The third faction, though, refuses to
This most radical faction is in contact with al-Qaida’s North Africa
branch and likely Somalia-based terror group al-Shabab, a diplomat
said on condition of anonymity per embassy orders.
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