Series of church bomb attacks by Islamist group kills at least 50 in Nigeria

Originally published in Christian Post

A series of bombs attacks have hit numerous targets, including churches, in the northeastern Nigerian town of Damaturu, killing 63 people.

Christians are among the scores of people killed as churches were blasted, and the Yobe state police HQ was also among the targets hit.

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The attacks have come following extensive attacks against Nigerian security forces near Maiduguri City by the Islamist group Boko Haram, which means “Western education if forbidden.”

A BBC correspondent in Lagos said people are reporting the death toll could be as high as 92, and AFP reported that hundreds are being treated in hospitals as a result of the attacks.

Reports are indicating that the bombings began at about 6.30 p.m. local time on Friday and the bloody attacks continued for approximately 90 minutes.

Following the series of bombs, reports indicate that Boko Haram members took part in running gun battles with security forces, increasing the death toll further.

According to a Roman Catholic priest in the region, at least nine churches were bombed in the attacks, the BBC reported.

In addition to the latest church bombings, earlier this week on Thursday an armed gang opened fire at a church in Kaduna state, killing two people and wounding 11, with some in critical condition.

Kaduna state is divided among religious and political lines, with Christians occupying a large part of the southern section, while Muslims are concentrated in the north. It is largely representative of the way Nigeria is divided as a whole, a situation that has led to numerous violent clashes between hostile groups.

More than 1,000 people have died in the neighboring Plateau state over such clashes.

In April, Kaduna’s first ever-Christian governor was elected, which sparked outrage and violence as Muslim groups were evicted from their homes, and around 3,000 people’s homes were burned down.

A BBC correspondent conveyed that the revenge attacks are most likely connected to the same events concerning Muslim groups who have been displaced from the territory.

Boko Harm, a well-known Islamic militant group based in the Borno state, had previously declared their plans to take revenge.

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