Published: 11:00 GMT Daylight Time - Tuesday 12 June 2012
Boko Haram declares Christians “enemies” and vows more church attacks
Country/Region: Africa, Nigeria
“The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state.”Boko Haram spokesman
Suicide bombers in cars are targeting Nigerian churches
Image source: Stefanos foundation
Militant Islamist group Boko Haram has said that it will continue targeting churches in Nigeria until it establishes an Islamic state, after committing two further attacks on Sunday.
Gunmen opened fire on a congregation at worship and a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a church in two separate incidents.
The first happened in Biu, a town in the north-eastern state of Borno. Gunmen burst into the EYN (“Church of the Brethren in Nigeria”) church and sprayed the congregation with bullets.
Hamidu Wakawa, who was at the church, said:
Three gunmen came to the premises of the church and started firing at people outside the church before going into the main building to carry on their killings... Many people have been killed and wounded.
No final death toll has yet been released, but officials have confirmed that one woman was killed and at least three people were injured.
Later on the same day, a suicide bomber targeted an evangelical church in the central city of Jos, Plateau state. He reportedly disguised himself as a worshipper to get past security and drove up to Christ Chosen Church, getting as close to the building as he could before detonating the bomb.
An estimated 62 people were critically injured, and around ten people are feared to have been killed; six people died in violence that broke out following the blast.
The intensity of the explosion caused the church building to collapse.
Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has been behind numerous attacks on churches in Nigeria, claimed responsibility for the two incidents on Sunday.
A spokesman said:
We launched these attacks to prove the Nigerian security wrong and to debunk their claim that we have been weakened by the military crackdown.
Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria and has made it very clear that Christians are not welcome. On New Year’s Day, the group issued a three-day ultimatum for Christians to leave the North, and since then attacks against them have been unrelenting.
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