Nigeria: War On Christians Escalates


July 16, 2012:  Boko Haram related violence has left nearly 700 dead so far this year. Boko Haram keeps warning Christians to either convert to Islam or die. Moslem and Christian leaders are giving more speeches about avoiding religious warfare. The Christian majority in the south has restrained itself and not retaliated (much) against their Moslem minority. But in the north, Boko Haram is making, and encouraging, more attacks on Christians. Nearly all the deaths have been in the north, or around the central Nigerian city of Jos.

The army has moved more troops into central Nigeria (especially around Jos) and announced that there will be raids on Boko Haram hideouts. There has been a lot of ethnic violence (between Moslem and Christian tribes) in Jos but now Boko Haram has moved in to side with the Moslem Fulani tribesmen.

July 15, 2012: In Okene (central Nigeria) a bomb went off near a church. There were no casualties.

July 13, 2012: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, a teenage Boko Haram suicide bomber attempted to kill an Islamic cleric (Umar Garbai el Kanemi) who preached against Islamic terrorism. The attack failed but the bomber and five civilians died. Kanemi is the Shehu of Borno and a major tribal and religious leader. Boko Haram has tried to kill him before. Kanemi is on good terms with many Christian religious leaders, who promptly condemned the suicide bomber attack.

July 8, 2012: Over the last two days, in central Nigeria (Plateau State), Moslem tribesmen raided Christian villages outside the city of Jos and over a hundred people died. The raiders, who were mostly Fulani tribesmen, also attacked funerals for some of the first victims, which also left two senior politicians dead. Boko Haram claimed involvement. The Fulani have long claimed that the government was sending Christian police to persecute them because of their religion (not because they were constantly attacking Christian farmers).

July 7, 2012: In the northeastern city of Damaturu, Boko Haram gunmen fought with police. At least one Boko Haram hideout was raided. There was also a large explosion. At least one death was reported, along with several other casualties.  

July 5, 2012: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Boko Haram assassins killed two people by slitting their throats.

In the capital prosecutors accused two men of being al Qaeda members and trying to recruit people to go and fight in Yemen.



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