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Friday, 5 October 2012

When Islamic fundamentalism STINKS: Gunmen target Christian students in Nigeria


Gunmen target Christian students in Nigeria


Updated Wed Oct 3, 2012 6:47am AEST

Gunmen have massacred at least 26 people in a student housing area in north-east Nigeria, calling victims out by name before killing them.

Residents of Mubi, in Adamawa state, say they heard gunfire for about two hours during the night.

Men reportedly moved from house to house, shooting people. Others had their throats slit.

Eyewitnesses say bodies were left in lines in front of the homes.

Police spokesman Mohammed Ibrahim says the attackers knew their victims and called them out by name in an off-campus area near a polytechnic school where students live.

He put the death toll at 25, including 19 students from the polytechnic, three students from a health technology school, two security guards and a retired soldier.

"We strongly suspect an inside operation," he said.

Adamawa state, like much of the north, been targeted by Islamist insurgents.
Last month, the Nigerian military carried out an operation in Mubi and arrested dozens of people with suspected links to the Islamist militant group popularly known as Boko Haram.

Boko Haram, which usually targets politicians or security forces, has also attacked students in the past and has cells in Adamawa.

Some officials however suggest the massacre may have been linked to a recent student election.

There were suggestions of ethnic tensions between the mainly Muslim Hausas and predominately Christian Igbos involved in the vote.

Violence has erupted between student gangs in the past in Nigeria, but it is not known to have previously led to a massacre on such a scale.

A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency said reports indicated some of the victims were candidates in the polls.

"The crisis in Mubi is suspected to have been fuelled by campus politics after an election at the Federal Polytechnic," the agency's Yushau Shuaib said.

Mubi is not far from the city of Maiduguri in neighbouring Borno state, which is considered the base of the Islamist group that is blamed for killing more than 1,400 people in northern and central Nigeria since 2010.

The town has seen previous such violence, including in January, when gunmen opened fire on Christian Igbos at a house as they mourned the death of a friend killed in a shooting the night before.

Gunmen massacre Nigerian churchgoers


Posted Wed Aug 8, 2012 6:08am AEST

Gunmen stormed an evangelical church in central Nigeria, cut the electricity and opened fire once the building was plunged into darkness, killing 19 people, including the pastor, officials said.

Residents in the town of Okene in Kogi state, where the church was attacked late on Monday, reported fresh gun battles on a main commercial street on Tuesday, but the circumstances were not immediately clear.

Officials said it was too early to say who carried out the church raids, but the radical Islamist group Boko Haram has repeatedly targeted Christians during worship in a series of gun and suicide bomb attacks.

Kogi, south-west of the capital Abuja, has not been hit particularly hard by the Islamists, although members of the group are believed to have come from the ethnically diverse area.

In mid-July, a bomb went off near another church in Okene, but caused no casualties, while in April, the military said it had discovered a Boko Haram bomb making factory in Kogi, in the town of Ogaminana.

The Deeper Life Church in Okene was attacked by "unknown gunmen" at roughly 8:20 pm on Monday, said Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel Olorunyomi, head of a military task force in Kogi.

Before firing on worshippers who had come for a regular Monday evening service, two of the three assailants knocked out the building's generator, state police spokesman Simon Ile said.

When troops arrived at the scene, they "saw 15 people dead, including the pastor," said Lt Col Olorunyomi, who added that four more people later died from their wounds. Several others were injured.

Mr Ile said were no early indications regarding the culprits.

"They entered the church...they just opened fire and they went away. We don't know their motives yet," he said.

Nigerian churches targeted in deadly attacks

Posted Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:57am AEST

A suicide bomber has blown his car up outside a church and gunmen opened fire on another service in Nigeria, killing three people and wounding dozens.

The assaults were the latest in a series targeting churches in Nigeria.

A purported spokesman for the Boko Haram Islamist group claimed responsibility for Sunday's attacks and threatened further violence.

"We are responsible for the suicide attack on a church in Jos and also another attack on another church in Biu," the spokesman, who called himself Abul Qaqa, said in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri.

"We launched these attacks to prove the Nigerian security wrong and to debunk their claim that we have been weakened by the military crackdown.

"The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus, as well as churches, until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state."

The attacks took place at evangelical churches in the central city of Jos and the north-eastern town of Biu, both of which have been hit before by violence blamed on Boko Haram.

"The suicide bomber did not drive into the church before the explosion. He was in front of it," police spokesman Abuh Emmanuel said of the Jos attack.

"The church building collapsed entirely due to the intensity of the bombing."

Local government spokesman Pam Ayuba said two people plus the bomber died, and 41 were wounded.

A reporter at the scene said angry Christian youths had assaulted local Muslims after the bombing.

The second attack killed at least one person and wounded several when gunmen opened fire during a service in Biu, Samson Bukar, the local Christian Association of Nigeria chairman, said.

"One female worshipper was killed while several others were wounded, two of them critically. The gunmen escaped after the attack."

Boko Haram's insurgency has killed more than 1,000 people since mid-2009, especially in Nigeria's Muslim-dominated north.