News / Africa

    Nigerian Town Under Curfew After Deadly Mosque, Church Attacks

    VOA News
    Residents in a south-central Nigeria town are under a dusk-to-dawn curfew after separate attacks at a church and mosque this week killed at least 22 people.
     
    The sectarian violence took place in the city of Okene in Kogi State.
    Okene, NigeriaOkene, Nigeria
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    Okene, Nigeria
    Okene, Nigeria
    On Monday, unidentified gunmen killed 19 people at a Christian church during a worship service. Late Tuesday, armed men killed two soldiers on patrol outside the city's central mosque. At least one other person was killed.
     
    No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
     
    Okene is located about 280 kilometers southwest of the capital, Abuja, where U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to travel on Thursday.
     
    Human Right Watch is calling on Clinton to urge President Goodluck Jonathan to do more to quell the rising violence.
     
    The rights group and government officials have blamed most of the violence on the Islamist militant group known as Boko Haram.
    Boko Haram Facts

    • Based in the northeastern city of Maiduguri
    • Began in 2002 as a non-violent Islamist splinter group
    • Launched uprising in 2009; leader was subsequently killed in police custody
    • Has killed hundreds in bombings and shootings since 2010
    • Boko Haram translates to "Western education is sinful"
    • Wants Nigeria to adopt strict Islamic law
    • Says it will kidnap women and children as part of its campaign
    • Has taken over parts of northeastern Nigeria
    The U.S. government has designated three Boko Haram leaders as terrorists.
     
    Human Rights Watch also urged Clinton to speak with Nigerian leaders about abuses by security forces, corruption and a lack of accountability.
     
    Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation with about 160 million people. It is divided roughly in half between Muslims, who live mainly in the north and Christians, mostly living in the south.
     
    Boko Haram does recognize the Nigerian government or constitution and says it wants to establish a strict Islamic state in the north.

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    Comments
         
    by: Ff
    August 13, 2012 12:10 PM
    This is misinformation, misrepresentation and pervert analysis. Only Christians (Deeper Life Bible Church) worshipers were killed. I know of a truth that liberation is coming so soon. No one can outsmart the God Almighty.

    by: salaphael from: benin
    August 09, 2012 3:56 PM
    Nigeria is a jungle where people survive by luck. Maybe the worst is yet to come i pray for the mercy of God

    by: Anonymous
    August 08, 2012 2:53 PM
    Which mosque was attack? Stop dishing out false stories. The attack was on the Christians and no mosque was attack. Muslim soldiers are killings Christians everyday and everywhere. Christians should fight back now or never as this is a war declared by the muslims in Nigeria against the vibrant Christian population. The Christians should be afraid since the president has failed to halt this madness. After they kill Christians, they will impose curfew to prevent retaliation and the boko haram in Nigeria army will be in the forefront of enforcement. It is only the politicians that will be afraid of Nigeria breaking up. True federalism must apply now and let the desert muslims find their resources in the desert and lazy away there.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    August 08, 2012 12:48 PM
    The Okene, Kogi State attack has nothing to do with sectarian violence. It is all in the plans of the boko haram brains and mentors to destabilize the country for the president without wit. Obasanjo would not take this shit in his time. That curfew imposed is just a diversionary measure aimed at stopping Christians from retaliating. But how long should this continue? The police and army have no intelligence, and even when informed about an impending attack by the muslims, they look the other way only to come back to implement a curfew to prevent a reprisal. In a country where the army and police are lopsided favoring the muslem cult, this evil must prevail. And without penalizing the main culprits - the governor, the police commissioner, and the DPO of the area where this attack took place is to be pursuing rat while the house is on fire. These should not only be sacked, they should also be prosecuted for negligence and complicity.

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