News / Africa

    Christian Youths Kill 2 Muslims In Nigeria Church Bombing Revenge

    Clergymen gather around victims' coffins for mass burial after Christmas day bombing at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Nigeria, Feb. 1, 2012.
    Clergymen gather around victims' coffins for mass burial after Christmas day bombing at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Nigeria, Feb. 1, 2012.
    Anne Look

    The radical Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram says it bombed a Christian church Sunday in Jos, killing three people and wounding dozens more.

    The suicide bombing was one in a series of recent attacks by the group on Christian targets in northern Nigeria, including a Christmas day bombing of a Catholic church near Abuja that killed at least 37 people.

    Following Sunday's attack, Christian youths seeking revenge beat to death two Muslim men in Jos.

    Some say Boko Haram's choice of Christian targets is motivated by religion or the perceived political dominance of Christians in central Nigeria. But others say the group is simply capitalizing on existing religious fault-lines to destabilize Africa's most-populous country.

    Elizabeth Donnelly, Nigeria analyst for London-based think tank Chatham House, says the militants are exacerbating years of religious violence in the central Nigerian city.

    "It may very well be about generating fear and uncertainty and increasing tensions, or any other context of localized violent conflict, [and] suspicion between groups in Nigeria," she says. "It is destabilizing, therefore it weakens the state and that is to Boko Haram's advantage."

    Jos is the capital of Plateau State in Nigeria's volatile Middle Belt, a region where the mostly Muslim north meets the mainly Christian south. Inter-communal violence has killed thousands there during the past decade.

    Governor of Plateau State Jonah Jang is calling for calm.

    "We are trying to make sure churches and mosques are protected from these attacks, the security headquarters are protected, major building(s) are protected, and we want to assure the people of Plateau State that everything possible will be done to unravel what has happened here today," he says. "I urge that we should all calm down and remain law-abiding and remain peaceful."

    Police and security have been the primary targets of intensifying violence by Boko Haram, which wages almost daily attacks in the country's north.

    The group's name in the Hausa language means "Western education is a sin," a reference to what it sees as a corrupt, Western-educated elite that has confiscated power in Nigeria.

    Much about the group remains unknown, but the militants are believed to want stricter application of Sharia, or Islamic law, in northern Nigeria. Attacks attributed to the group have already killed 200 people this year.

    Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan condemned Sunday's church bombing in a written statement, saying "those who seek to divide us by fear and terror will not succeed."

    The central government in Abuja, however, has struggled to control the security threat. Complicating matters, analysts say Boko Haram has splintered into various factions with differing aims and methodologies.

    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.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    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