News / Africa

Top Suspect in Nigerian Christmas Bombing Escapes Police

Onlookers gather around a destroyed car at the site of a bomb blast at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Nigeria, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011.
Onlookers gather around a destroyed car at the site of a bomb blast at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Nigeria, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011.

Nigerian authorities say their top suspect in a deadly Christmas Day bombing at a Catholic church in the capital, Abuja, has escaped police custody after being arrested at the Borno state governor's mansion in the capital.

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 16, 2011 -  Car bomb kills two outside police headquarters in Abuja.
  • June 26, 2011 - Attack on a bar in Maiduguri kills 25 people.
  • August 25, 2011 - Attacks on a police station in Gombi and two banks leave 12 people dead.
  • August 26, 2011 - Suicide bomber kills 23 people at the U.N. building in Abuja.
  • November 4, 2011 - Bombings in Damaturu and Potiskum kill 65 people.
  • December 25, 2011 - Christmas Day bombings across Nigeria kill 39 people.
  • January 10, 2011 - Gunmen open fire on a bar in Yobe state, killing eight people.

A police statement Tuesday said the suspect, Kabiru Sokoto, was being escorted to another police station outside of Abuja when "suspected gang members" attacked and freed him. The police commissioner who ordered the transfer has been suspended, and police say they are investigating the incident.

They have promised a criminal investigation if warranted.

Tuesday in the Nigerian newspaper The Nation, the Borno State Commissioner for Information, Inuwa Bwala, said the incident could be evidence that sympathizers of radical group Boko Haram have infiltrated government security agencies.

President Goodluck Jonathan voiced similar concerns earlier this month.

The Christmas Day bombing was one of a series of coordinated attacks that day that killed at least 39 people. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for that attack and several others.

Nigeria has seen escalating violence between Christians and Muslims.  President Jonathan recently declared a state of emergency in 15 areas as part of his response to the unrest. The president also has deployed extra troops to the north, but attacks have continued.

Authorities blame Boko Haram for hundreds of deaths in bombings and shootings over the past 18 months.  

The group is said to want wider implementation of Sharia, or Islamic law, across Nigeria.  It recently warned Christians in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria to leave the area.

U.N. Human Rights chief Navi Pillay last week called on Nigerian political and religious leaders to conduct joint efforts to halt sectarian violence in the country. Pillay said it is especially important for Muslim and Christian leaders to "condemn all violence," including retaliatory attacks.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

You May Like

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill More

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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs