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Bombings Kill 1, Injures Dozens in Nigerian City With Heavy Christian Presence

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By Matthew Cortina, Christian Post Reporter
December 12, 2011|10:51 am

One person was killed and dozens injured in central Nigeria over the weekend after Islamist terror sect Boko Haram detonated bombs at three bars where residents were gathered watching soccer matches on television.

The bombing marks the third fatal attack in the last week for Boko Haram, whose members have terrorized cities across Nigeria over the last two years.

About 600 people were targeted in the attacks in the volatile city of Jos. Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege,” reportedly targeted people watching a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona because engaging in such activity is said to be against Shariah law.

Jos lies in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, where conflicts between Muslims who are the majority in northern Nigeria and Christians who occupy the south have left hundreds of people dead and thousands displaced.

Jos is popularly referred to by the acronym “Jesus Our Savior.”

The one fatality in the attacks was that of a 35-year-old barber, according to reports. Most of those injured in the attack have been released from the local hospital.

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Like many major northern Nigerian cities, Jos, which has 1.5 million residents, has garnered a heavy military presence in the wake of recent Boko Haram attacks. Some cities, like the capital of Abuja, have security cameras at every major intersection to monitor potential terrorist activity.

But those security measures appear to be fruitless.

Boko Haram has killed over 500 people in the last two years. There are conflicting reports about what instigated the violence, but Boko Haram has expressed dissatisfaction with the government and its leaders – taking exception to rampant corruption that depresses many states, particularly in the north, and the election of Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian, to the presidency.

However, much of the violence appears to be largely religion-based. Despite a decent military presence in the city of Maiduguri, Boko Haram has made it their de facto headquarters after Nov. 4 attacks there and in nearby Kaduna and Damaturu killed as many as 150 Christians, while forcing nearly all of them to flee.

Advocacy organizations like Human Rights Watch claim that as many as a thousand people were killed in Jos last year from sectarian violence. A Christmas Eve bombing killed 32 people and injured 74 in the city.

Over the last two years, Boko Haram has robbed and attacked over 100 banks throughout Nigeria, according to a report from the Central Bank of Nigeria released Monday. The sect is responsible for dozens of attacks on government buildings, churches and civilian areas.

Speaking with investors last month, President Jonathan said that Boko Haram “is a temporary problem.” Critics contend that the increase in nationwide security amid rampant attacks suggests otherwise.

 

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