BAUCHI, Nigeria (Reuters) – A radical Islamist sect said on Tuesday it was behind bombings in central Nigeria and attacks on churches in the northeast of the country that led to the deaths of at least 86 people.
The police said on Tuesday that 80 people were killed in Christmas Eve bomb attacks and clashes two days later between Muslim and Christian youths in central Nigeria, while more than 100 are wounded in hospitals.
“We have recovered 80 dead bodies so far in Jos,” Daniel Gambo, an official at the Nigerian emergency management agency said late on Monday.
In a separate incident, six people were killed when petrol bombs were thrown late on Friday at churches in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, in Borno state.
“O Nations of the World, be assured that the attacks in Suldaniyya (Jos) and Borno on the eve of Christmas were carried out by us Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awatu Wal Jihad, under the leadership of Abu Muhammad, Abubakar bin Muhammad Shekau,” a statement said on the group’s website.
The radical Islamic group Boko Haram has previously used the name Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awatu Wal Jihad….
Boko Haram, which wants Islamic sharia law more widely applied across Africa’s most populous nation, staged an uprising in Maiduguri last year which led to clashes with security forces in which as many as 800 people were killed.
The chief of defence staff said two suspects had been arrested on Monday in Jos, the capital of Plateau state, in possession of dynamite and dangerous weapons….
Religious violence flares up sporadically in the central “Middle Belt” of Africa’s most populous nation, where the largely Muslim north meets the mostly Christian south….
It just “flares up”! There’s no telling how, or why! It just happens!