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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora