A Boko Haram offensive against Christians that began on December 25th has so far left 21 dead, including 16 Christians attacked in a church. The government revised earlier reports that 15 Christians in northern Borno state had been tied up on the 30th and had their throats slit. This happened in a remote village and when police were able to investigate they found that there was an attack but that only two people died from an attack that may not have been Boko Haram related.
While many Moslem leaders condemn Boko Haram, most keep quiet and some are responding to the growing Boko Haram violence against Christians by insisting that this is just retaliation for previous plots against Moslems. Few details are given and this sort of talk by Moslem leaders makes Nigerian Christians even more anxious for their safety. Moslem leaders also complain about the tendency of troops and police to shoot first and investigate later. Interrogations also tend to be brutal and sometimes fatal. But this violence isn’t just directed at Moslems, it has been standard practice by the security forces for decades. Few people deny that this brutality exists, but attempts to curb it have largely failed or had much less impact than required. Unleashing police and army against Boko Haram in the north is terrorizing Moslem civilians more than it’s reassuring threatened Christians. But these security operations are killing or capturing a lot of young Moslem men with guns. The live ones often boast of their Boko Haram membership while many of the dead ones have incriminating documents on them.
January 1, 2013: In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, troops found and fought a group of Boko Haram believed responsible for some of the recent attacks on Christians. The gun battle left 13 Boko Haram and one soldier dead. The Boko Haram war against Christians in Maiduguri has caused over 30 churches to close and over 20,000 Christians to flee the city in the last few months.
President Goodluck Jonathan announced that the Boko Haram men responsible for attacks around the capital (Abuja) had been arrested. Johnson also insisted that most members of Boko Haram had been killed or captured. He did not comment on how well, or not, Boko Haram recruiting efforts were going (to replace those lost).
December 29, 2012: In northern Yobe state police clashed with Boko Haram, killing four of them. A policeman also died in the gun battle.
December 28, 2012: In northeastern Adamawa state (near the Cameroon border), Boko Haram attacked a police station, a prison, and a government office building, leaving two dead and several buildings burned down. In the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Boko Haram gunmen attacked several homes, killing five people. Soldiers quickly responded to these attacks, arresting three suspects and seizing an AK-47.
December 27, 2012: In the northern city of Kaduna, soldiers attacked and captured a Boko Haram bomb making workshop, killing five of the Islamic terrorists and seizing bomb making materials.
December 24, 2012: Boko Haram attacked two churches in the north, killing 12 people and burning down one of the churches.