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Boko Haram suicide bomber attacks Nigerian church



A Boko Haram suicide bomber attacked a church in the city of Jos in Nigeria today, killing several people and wounding scores more. From AP:

A suicide car bomber detonated his explosives Sunday morning outside of the major church in the heart of a restive central Nigerian city that has seen hundreds die in religious and ethnic violence, an official said, killing three people and injuring others.

The explosion struck the main headquarters of the Church of Christ in Nigeria during its early morning service, Plateau state spokesman Pam Ayuba said. The blast killed the bomber and a father and child near the explosion, while wounding others, Ayuba said.

According to Vanguard Nigerian News, Jos police said at least six people were killed, and the Red Cross reported that 50 were wounded.

Jos was the scene of the bombings on Christmas Eve 2010 that targeted Christians and killed more than 80 people. Boko Haram, the radical Islamist terror group that is linked to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and has targeted both the government and Christians, and even the United Nations, claimed the Christmas Eve attack. Young Christians have retaliated for today's suicide attack, killing at least three people during riots in Jos. From AFP:

Christian youths rioted Sunday in the Nigerian city of Jos, killing at least three people in suspected reprisal attacks after a suicide bomber killed three at a church, witnesses said.

An AFP reporter saw three bodies lying by a street near the bombed church. Elsewhere, he saw a row of Muslim-owned shops that were apparently burned by the rampaging youths.

"There was a rampage by angry Christian youths after the blast at the church. They marched on the streets and set up a barricade on the road leading to the church. They also burned down shops owned by Muslims," said resident Bello Mohammed.



READER COMMENTS: "Boko Haram suicide bomber attacks Nigerian church"

Posted by mike merlo at February 26, 2012 8:07 PM ET:

The fact that Nigeria is practically evenly split between Christian & Muslim should make for a robust test of wills.

Posted by Paul D at February 27, 2012 7:35 AM ET:

Religion of peace strikes again!

Posted by Neo at February 28, 2012 11:43 AM ET:

Boko Haram wants Muslims and Christians at each others throats. That way they can radicalize enough of the Muslim population to expand their operations. They want hot headed young Muslim men who feel they have been oppressed by the Christian community. That’s their target audience. What better way to get oppressed Muslims than to incite the Christian community in the ugliest ways possible. Angry Christians burn down a Muslim neighborhood, than the recruiters sweep in. It doesn’t take a huge number of recruits to keep the bombings going.

The root of the problem isn’t local, although the local Muslims have plenty of grievances old and new, legitimate and illegitimate. Al Qaeda in the Maghreb has been trying to open a Nigerian front for quite some time. They don’t care how many local Muslims die. It’s just another place to expand the franchise.