News / Africa

Multiple Church Bombings in Nigeria Ignite Riots

Onlookers gather near the bomb-damaged Shalom Church in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, June 17, 2012.Onlookers gather near the bomb-damaged Shalom Church in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, June 17, 2012.
x
Onlookers gather near the bomb-damaged Shalom Church in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, June 17, 2012.
Onlookers gather near the bomb-damaged Shalom Church in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, June 17, 2012.
VOA NewsHeather Murdock
ABUJA - Three churches were bombed this morning in Kaduna, Nigeria, igniting riots in the state capital and prompting a 24-hour curfew.  The blasts killed 21 and injured at least 100. The violence Sunday is just the latest development in areas where tensions have risen dramatically recently.  
 
Kaduna has been tense since after the 2011 elections when riots broke out killing nearly 700 people.  Locals say the violence was political but it also cut across religious lines, deepening distrust between Muslims and Christians.
 
Kaduna city, the capital of Kaduna state, is now roughly divided like the country of Nigeria between a mostly-Muslim north and a predominately Christian south.  
 
Sunday, after churches were bombed in Zaria and Kaduna city, two cities that are still recovering from last year’s carnage, riots broke out in Kaduna.
 
Femi Odekunle, a Nigerian professor of criminology, says increasing violence in Nigeria may have religious overtones, but the root of the problem is increasing poverty and the unequal distribution of resources in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and biggest oil exporter.

"I am just telling you the inequality, political, economic, social even in terms of the legal administration of criminal justice.  The inequality is there," said Odekunle.

The Nigerian Red Cross says rescue operations are ongoing.  Spokesperson Nwakpa O. Nwakpa said calm is returning to Kaduna city.
 
No group has claimed responsibility for the church bombings, but the Islamist militant group popularly known as Boko Haram has taken responsibility for other similar attacks, including church bombings on Christmas day that killed more than 40 people, and a church bombing early this month in Bauchi that left 15 dead.
 
Boko Haram is blamed for more than 1,000 deaths since it began violent operations in 2009, attacking security forces, churches, schools, government buildings, newspaper offices and market places.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Richard from: Edinburgh UK
June 18, 2012 8:30 AM
by: Rev: Martin from: Juba/south sudan

This is the work of the Devil, Christians worldwide will be targeted, economy is so on to collapse, we are on the brink of WAR. We must pray for all of man in these dreadful days as time is soon going to run out.

by: Rev: Martin from: Juba/south sudan
June 18, 2012 7:07 AM
What is wrong with Islamic Religion?They are looking that they can changed the world into Islam?No i do not think so. The LORD is the only God change things into what he want.

by: zim from: lagos
June 17, 2012 6:43 PM
The northern politicians enlisted the unknown boko haram sect to fight their dirty battles,turned them into this monster,outside forces like Al-Queda hijacked it,now the politicians can stop the monster they created.

by: Mike Blyth from: Jos, Nigeria
June 17, 2012 1:53 PM
Talk about understatement. A conflict in which an overtly jihadist organization regularly bombs churches during their services "may have religious overtones." You think? Of course, no one wants to admit that it might really be a religious conflict in its own right.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs