More unrest hits Nigeria after church attacks, riots kill 52

Fresh explosions and gunfire rocked a northeastern Nigerian city on Monday, a day after suicide attacks claimed by Islamists and reprisal violence by rampaging Christian mobs left 52 people dead.

The two days of violence has underlined the precarious state of security in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north, where an insurgency by Islamist group Boko Haram that has left hundreds of people dead has been concentrated.

The new outbreak of unrest in the city of Damaturu, previously hit by heavy violence blamed on Boko Haram, came after authorities said they had restored calm in northern Kaduna state, where Sunday's attacks occurred.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for three suicide attacks on churches in Kaduna state on Sunday which led to deadly rioting, while police blamed the group for the violence that broke out in Damaturu.

A military commander said the Damaturu unrest on Monday occurred after authorities arrested a Boko Haram suspect, prompting other members of the group to respond by setting off explosives and shooting indiscriminately.

It was not clear if there were any casualties. The commander said the situation had been brought under control, though residents said they continued to hear shootings and explosions.

"We arrested a Boko Haram suspect with bombs and so his comrades were not happy with the development," said Colonel Dahiru Abdussalam, commander for a military task force in Yobe state, where Damaturu is the capital.

"And therefore Boko Haram elements came out in a well coordinated manner and began shooting and setting off explosions in the city. But we have contained the situation."

Sunday's church bombings, an almost weekly occurrence in Nigeria in recent months, left at least 16 dead and triggered a wave of fierce revenge attacks that killed more than twice as many.

Officials on Sunday had imposed a state-wide 24 hour curfew in Kaduna state, as rescuers combed deserted streets for bodies.

The mobs had moved through the streets in the state capital Kaduna on Sunday with machetes and clubs while also torching at least three mosques, petrol stations and vehicles. A number of the victims' bodies were burnt.

Boko Haram, responsible for more than 1,000 deaths since July 2009, said the attacks at a church in Kaduna city and two churches in the nearby city of Zaria were a response to the "atrocities Christians perpetrated against Muslims."

"Allah has given us victory in the attacks we launched against churches in (the cities of) Kaduna and Zaria which resulted in the deaths of many Christians and security personnel," said the Boko Haram statement.

Police said the blasts killed at least 16 people, sparking young Christians carrying clubs and machetes to wreak havoc around Kaduna city.

"As of the last count we have 52 dead bodies picked up from the affected areas. We have more than 150 injured," said a senior rescue official who asked to not be named as he was not authorised to issue death tolls.

"Most of the victims were those killed in reprisal attacks."

The ban on movement has since been relaxed, Kaduna state police spokesman Aminu Lawan told AFP, with movement allowed between 2:00 pm and 6:00 pm.

Following presidential elections last year, rioting in Kaduna state left more than 500 people dead, mostly Muslims.

A resident of Kaduna city's Goni Gora area claimed he saw soldiers shoot dead three members of a Christian mob late on Sunday as they sought to destroy a mosque.

Police spokesman Lawan said he had received no reports of fighting between rioters and security forces.

While banks and shops were closed Monday as troops patrolled, the lockdown did not apply to doctors and nurses, state government spokesman Saidu Adamu said.

"Many of (the injured) need surgery, but a shortage of blood is stalling treatment," a Red Cross official in Kaduna said.

The first blast struck ECWA Goodnews Church in Zaria city early Sunday. The second explosion went off 10 minutes later at the Christ the King Catholic church in Zaria, a police statement said.

The third blast hit the Shalom Church in Kaduna city moments later.

As their insurgency has intensified, Boko Haram's demands have varied widely, prompting speculation that the group is composed of disparate cells, including a hardcore Islamist wing.

The extremists have previously said they intended to create an Islamic state across the mainly Muslim north of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation of 160 million, where the south is majority Christian.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • A weekend of premium cars
    A weekend of premium cars

    Good news to all luxury car fanatics as PGA Cars, the exclusive importer and distributor of Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini and Bentley cars in the country, will be holding the PGA Cars Premium Festival from May 29 to May 31 at the PGA Center in Global City in Taguig. The 3-day event will showcase PGA’s latest […] The post A weekend of premium cars appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

  • APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda
    APEC ministers to endorse Boracay Action Agenda

    Trade ministers at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Boracay, Aklan agreed yesterday to endorse the proposed Boracay Action Agenda to the member countries’ leaders, presenting opportunities for global trade for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In a press conference following the conclusion of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, who also served as chairman, said ministers agreed to recommend the adoption of the …

  • Talks with China over sea row urged
    Talks with China over sea row urged

    The Philippines should engage China in bilateral talks in its efforts to maintain peace and order at the disputed West Philippine Sea, Sen. Francis Escudero said yesterday. Escudero supports the government’s move to bring the issue before international arbitration but also stressed the need for the Philippines to pursue talks with China. Escudero made the statement after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday called for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. …

  • House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills
    House panel tackles bill on regular disaster drills

    The House committee on national defense is deliberating on a measure mandating the regular conduct of disaster risk reduction drills in educational institutions nationwide. Authored by Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., the bill mandates that risk reduction drills be held annually in all educational institutions throughout the country in coordination with the schools’ respective local government units. “The Philippines’ location along the Pacific Ring of Fire and close to the equator …

  • PCSO running out of funds
    PCSO running out of funds

    Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chairman Ireneo Maliksi has admitted that the revenue-generating agency is running out of funds as it continues with its mandate to provide financial assistance to indigent Filipinos. Aside from providing financial help to individual recipients, Maliksi cited at least 13 laws that mandates the PCSO to provide mandatory contribution to different government agencies. Just last week, PCSO released P100 million to the Commission on Higher Education as …

  • Cops receive mid-year bonus
    Cops receive mid-year bonus

    Active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP)have received their mid-year bonuses. However, the bonus of personnel with pending administrative and criminal cases has been deferred as per administrative policy, according to PNP spokesman Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias. The PNP has released P1.9 billion for the mid-year bonus of the 155,000 active duty uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. …

  • Catholics organize to promote pope's climate change message

    NEW YORK (AP) — There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines. …

  • Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored
    Forgotten for decades, fallen NY soldier finally honored

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Carroll Heath didn't have it easy growing up in the Great Depression. His father wasn't around, his mother was a patient in a mental hospital and he kept largely to himself. Soon after graduating high school, he enlisted in the Army and wound up in the Philippines, where he's believed to have died sometime in 1942. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options