Friday, March 2, 2012

Nigerian Update; March 2

The latest from Boko Haram and the religion of peace.

From the Chicago Tribune March 1

Suspected Islamists burn down seven Nigerian schools

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria, March 1 (Reuters) - Arsonists suspected to be members of Islamist sect Boko Haram have burned down seven schools in northeastern Nigeria the past few days, authorities said on Thursday, a new twist in the group's increasingly violent insurgency.

Thousands of children have been left without schools in the middle of their term.

Boko Haram, an Islamist movement styled on the Taliban, is waging a low level insurgency against the government that is radiating out from its heartland in the remote northeastern city of Maiduguri right across the north.

Its name means "Western education is sinful", after the anti-Western teachings of its early spiritual leader Mohammed Yusuf, who was killed in police custody in 2009.

Musa Inuwa Kubo, the commissioner of education for Borno state, of which Maiduguri is the capital, said the schools were attacked over the past few days, two of them on Thursday.

Reuters visited the scene of one of the fires, where a building was reduced to a pile of still smouldering ash.

And from WorldMag Feb 29 by Mindy Belz

Targeted Christians

A Sunday morning bombing outside the headquarters of a leading Christian denomination in northern Nigeria exploded what has been a brief season of calm in the Plateau State capital, Jos.
The Nigerian-based terrorist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack Sunday, which killed four and severely injured at least 38. In a tactic now familiar to victims of Boko Haram, a suicide bomber loaded a vehicle with explosives, and then drove through the security gate of the Church of Christ in the Nations (COCIN) headquarters, which includes offices, a church, and classrooms. The bomber apparently planned to crash the gate and detonate his vehicle inside the sanctuary, where hundreds had gathered for worship. Instead, the car’s tire blew and the vehicle hit a motorcycle, detonating only yards away from the church building.
The dead include a woman crushed by the vehicle explosion, a woman who only a week ago relocated to Jos after being displaced by similar attacks on Christians in Yobe State farther north, and a an 18-month-old child.
“On exploding, the bomber himself was in pieces,” said Mark Lipdo of the Jos-based Stefanos Foundation, who pointed out that the fourth victim killed was a church member initially injured in the attack. Bystanders, seeing him beside the vehicle in the immediate aftermath, presumed that he was another Boko Haram assailant and killed him.
The COCIN headquarters in Jos was among 10 church sites highlighted in a Boko Haram posting on the internet last year that “must be bombed and leveled.” The latest suicide bombing was one in a recent string of attacks by the terrorist group on Christian targets in northern and central Nigeria, including a Christmas day bombing of a Catholic church near Abuja that killed 44 people (see “Nowhere to run,” March 10).
The Voice of America reported that Christian youths seeking revenge beat to death two Muslim men in Jos the day following the attack, but sources I spoke to in Jos could not confirm those deaths.
Read it all 

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