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Embassy Warns of Attacks in Nigeria After Weekend Violence, Christians Killed and Churches Burned

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By Matthew Cortina, Christian Post Reporter
November 7, 2011|11:44 am

The United States Embassy warned its citizens in Nigeria that terrorists in the country may target luxury hotels in the capital city of Abuja after a weekend of violence.

Boko Haram, a radical Islamic terror sect, warned of continued attacks after violence this weekend killed over a hundred in the Northeast, and left many buildings destroyed.

“Following the recent Boko Haram, aka Nigerian Taliban, attacks in Borno and Yobe State, the US embassy has received information that Boko Haram may plan to attack several locations and hotels in Abuja," said the embassy in a statement.

According to local police, Boko Haram committed the attacks this weekend to prove the group was still relevant after officials thwarted a planned attack last week.

The embassy believes the attacks coincide with the Muslim holiday Aid al-Adha, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, celebrated yesterday.

The group successfully bombed a United Nations building in Abuja earlier this year, killing 24. Embassy officials said the specificity of the threats has raised flags about their legitimacy.

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Christians in the Northeast part of the state-where Boko Haram’s influence is most evident-are concerned about future attacks. The terrorist organization has killed hundreds over the past year, including 100 Christians several months ago.

The U.N. issued a statement yesterday, calling the attacks unjustifiable. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon asked for “an end to all violence in the area.” Pope Benedict XVI issued a similar appeal.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. The Muslim north is separated from the mostly Christian south by a line of contention-where locals are asking for help from law enforcement.

Boko Haram is taking advantage of their remote location by recruiting many of the unemployed youth in the region and preying on rural communities-particularly Christians.

"We're all expected to live in peace, but as a nation, we have our own challenges," said Nigerian President Goodluck Johnathan in a televised appearance.

"During this holy period, we still have incidents happening here and there,” Johnathan added.

 

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