News

    Nigeria Bombing Kills Several People on Easter Sunday

    Clergymen gather around the coffins of the victims of the Christmas day bombing at St Theresa Catholic Church Madalla, during a mass funeral for the victims, outside Nigeria's capital Abuja, February 1, 2012
    Clergymen gather around the coffins of the victims of the Christmas day bombing at St Theresa Catholic Church Madalla, during a mass funeral for the victims, outside Nigeria's capital Abuja, February 1, 2012

    A suicide bombing outside a church in the northern Nigerian town of Kaduna killed several people on Easter Sunday. Last week, authorities had ramped up security and said they uncovered various plots to disrupt festivities. No one has claimed responsibility for Sunday's bombing, though many suspect militant Islamist sect, Boko Haram, which is known to target Christians around holidays.


    Security forces in northern Nigeria have stepped up security this Easter weekend. Extremist group Boko Haram is known for staging large attacks against Christians around holidays.

    Attacks Claimed by Boko Haram

    • July 2009: Attacks and clashes in Bauchi and Maiduguri leave 800 people dead.
    • December 2010: Bombings in central Nigeria and church attacks in the northeast kill 86 people.
    • June 26, 2011: Attack on a Maiduguri bar kills 25 people.
    • August 25, 2011: Attacks on police station in Gombi and two banks kill 12 people.
    • August 26, 2011: Suicide bomber kills 23 people at U.N. building in Abuja.
    • November 4, 2011: Damaturu, Potiskum bombings kill 65 people.
    • December 25, 2011: Christmas Day bombings across Nigeria kill 39 people.

    Christmas Eve bombings in 2010 and Christmas day attacks in 2011 killed dozens.

    Authorities said they raided two hideouts in northeastern Gombe state Thursday, seizing explosives and rocket launchers and arresting six people. Authorities did not say whether the suspects were from Boko Haram.

    Security has been ramped up in the far northeastern city of Maiduguri, the epicenter of Boko Haram's attacks. On Friday, a helicopter patrolled the city from the sky and authorities searched private vehicles at checkpoints.

    Boko Haram primarily targets government installations and security forces but has increasingly gone after civilians.

    One woman in Maiduguri, who did not want to give her name, said the security concerns won't keep them from observing Easter.  

    "That can't stop me from going to church. I will still go to church but only that," she said. "I have to be vigilant. That's all. I will be careful of the places I go to and after church, I will just get back home."

    Reverend Faye Pama said local Christians are celebrating this year in "a low mood."

    "Of course you know the killings have been on and many lives have been lost. You know even the day before yesterday," he said. "There were the killings in the market. So, we are celebrating low-key."

    He said "the security are all around the churches as usual, but the security people are more at alert."

    Gunmen opened fire on Christian traders at a busy market in Maiduguri Wednesday, killing 11 people and wounding several others. Just before the attack, gunmen shot dead an electronics technician on a popular city street. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but authorities say they suspect Boko Haram.

    Witnesses told VOA that nine of the dead were Christians from the Igbo ethnic group.

    Borno state deputy governor Zanna Mustapha visited the market Thursday, which was closed to mourn the victims. A VOA reporter at the scene said the smell of blood still hung in the air.

    The deputy governor said citizens need to cooperate with security forces. "There is nobody that will come down from the sky to help us. We must help ourselves," he said.  
    "People have to come out from their shells and give information so that we stop these things once and for all. The government is trying. The government is putting everything in place to make sure that this does not happen again," Mustapha added.

    The government has tried offering cash rewards for information and sought to reassure citizens that cooperation would remain confidential. However, residents said they are scared of reprisal attacks.

    Militants killed another 11 people during an attack at a Maiduguri market in February. Boko Haram later said it was exacting revenge on traders who had turned a suspected member of the group in to authorities.

    Great Britain and the United States have issued warnings to their citizens living in Nigeria. The U.K. pointed to a "high risk of terrorist attack during religious festivals" this weekend.

    Boko Haram wants to impose Islamic law in northern Nigeria. Experts said that the core Boko Haram cell has splintered into factions of varying extremism, some of which have professed ties to regional Al-Qaeda franchises.

    Abdulkareem oleyeimi contributed reporting from maiduguri, nigeria.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.