Nigeria University Christian Service Attack Kills 15

Local officials remove the body of a victim from the back of a bus, in front of Aminu Kano teaching hospital in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, April 29, 2012.
Local officials remove the body of a victim from the back of a bus, in front of Aminu Kano teaching hospital in Nigeria's northern city of Kano, April 29, 2012.
Heather Murdock

An attack on a university campus has killed at least 15 people and injured many others in the northern Nigerian city of Kano.  The attack appears to have targeted a morning Christian worship service.

Emergency service personnel say they heard three bombs, followed by gunshots, but by noon they were still not allowed on the scene.  Later in the day, as casualty reports trickled in, witnesses said gunmen had attacked a church service with small explosives, shooting people as they tried to flee.

Police say the attackers fled on motorcycles before security personnel arrived on the scene.

This comes after nine were killed in an attack on media houses Thursday in Abuja and Kaduna. An Islamist militant sect known as Boko Haram claimed responsibility for those attacks, saying the media had issued false reports about the group’s plans and activities.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan says the government is doing all it can to fight the group that is believed to be responsible for more than 1,000 deaths since it began attacks in 2009.  In January, coordinated bombings in Kano killed nearly 200 people, and crippled the city’s economy.  

In recent months, President Jonathan has been actively seeking foreign logistical assistance to combat the group, especially from the West.  On Saturday, he condemned the group as he visited the site of one of Thursday’s bombings.

"A terror attack on any part of the country is an attack on all of us, and indeed the whole world because terrorists' method is to ensure they have maximum damage, so the whole world will begin to look at their direction for relevance," he added.

U.S. lawmakers are considering naming Boko Haram a terrorist organization, which could move more American resources to Nigeria.

Many Nigerians have criticized the Jonathan government for being unable to stop Boko Haram, including the country's national security adviser who suggested the ruling party is partially to blame for the security crisis.  

Adam Yusuf is a cook who left his wife and five children in Kano to work in the capital, but he says he is constantly afraid for his family.  Like many Nigerians, he says the government needs to find out what Boko Haram wants and negotiate, rather than trying to fight.

"Call them together and negotiate what they need," said Yusuf .  "Why are they doing so?  Because of what?  It is simple because fight[ing] cannot solve the problem.  Dialogue.”

Boko Haram says its goals are to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria, and procure the release of all imprisoned members.  But Yusuf says no one really knows what they want.

This forum has been closed.
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.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs