Map was developed by Spiegel Online. See a collection of BBC maps of Nigeria examining wealth, health, ethnicity, literacy, and known oil deposits.
People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad (Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad), better known by its Hausa name Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for another set of coordinated attacks in Northern Nigeria occurring late afternoon Friday.
A series of bombings and attacks claimed by the radical Islamist group Boko Haram has left at least 120 dead and many more injured in northern Nigeria’s largest city, witnesses and the Red Cross have said.
“Many agencies are involved in the evacuation of corpses from the streets,” a Nigerian Red Cross spokesman said on Saturday, under condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly, following Friday night’s attacks.
“From our tally, we have 121 so far,” he said.
Other death tolls are higher. Maude Gwadabe, a journalist in Kano, told Al Jazeera by phone that he had seen at least 140 dead bodies.
Gwadabe said the disparity was due to confusion in the aftermath of Friday’s attacks and that victims had been taken to different hospitals, homes and treatment clinics.
“At least 140 people died. The Red Cross and Nigerian emergency services have collected the victims and brought them to one hospital [Murtala Central Hospital], and indeed, hospital officials say 140 people were killed,” Gwadabe said.
In a statement released on Friday, Boko Haram claimed responsibilty for the attacks and said the blasts were revenge for the recent arrests of its members in Kano.
(Note: The death toll reported by Al-Jazeera is much higher than that currently — 10:00AM Eastern — being reported by Reuters or AFP. As I read reports originating in Nigeria my current assessment is that Al-Jazeera is closer to accurate. NEW: BBC is confirming at least 120 deaths. SUNDAY UPDATE: The Nation (Nigeria) newspaper is reporting 162 fatalities. LATE SUNDAY: Reuters is reporting “at least 178 deaths.”)
On Thursday — between attacks on Wednesday and yesterday — an op-ed in the Vanguard, a leading Nigerian newspaper, argued:
Now let us take a critical look at the present scenario: Boko Haram is bombing almost everywhere in Nigeria: churches, United Nations Building, Police Headquarters, etc. Members of the sect are Muslims.
None of them is a Christian, and they make audacious statements which no sane individual should utter. Consider some of them: “Western Education is Sin”; “Christians should leave the North within three days else they will be eliminated”; “there will be no respite unless and until Nigeria becomes an Islamic state”, etc.
But as distasteful as the posture of the Boko Haram sect is, it seems not to have occurred to the Southern Christians that there is a grand agenda to extinguish the Southerners from the entity called Nigeria. It has not occurred to them that they should close ranks, forge a common front and fight the mother of all battles for their survival.
Primate Okoh stated that all hands are on deck, the National assembly is concerned, the president is having sleepless nights and the Church is already facing serious temptation even though the Church does not initiate hostility. The head of the Anglican Church said the intense attack of Boko Haram is really tempting the Christians whether to continue to maintain peace, always turning the other cheek ,or fight back to find their safety.
He therefore made a passionate appeal to leaders in the country who can reach out to Boko Haram to dissuade them from dastardly acts of killing innocent Christian’s souls, asking them to dialogue with government if they have any axe to grind with her and leave the Church alone.
He said the attempt to drag Nigerians into militancy is something Nigerians must resist.
Roughly 20 million Nigerians are in communion with the Anglican Church, out of a total population of approximately 140 million. Most demographers indicate that 50 percent of Nigerians are Muslim, 48 percent are Christian.
As outlined previously, the emergence of — or widely-held perception of — an explicit inter-religious war in Nigeria would likely have significant ramifications well beyond Nigeria.
According to AFP: Gunmen overnight raided a northern Nigerian town with a history of sectarian violence and killed at least nine people, a traditional leader said Sunday.
“We are going round the town checking. So far we have nine people dead and 12 wounded,” Bukata Zhyadi, a traditional ruler of the mainly Christian Sayawa ethnic group, told AFP.
He blamed the attack in Tafawa Balewa in Bauchi state on the Muslim Hausa-Fulani ethnic group.
He said the attackers hurled home-made hand grenades into houses while people were sleeping and shot at those trying to escape.
“Some were shot while trying to escape and some died as a result of the explosives,” he told AFP by phone.
Tafawa Balewa is located along the so-called middle belt between Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.
BREAKING NEWS AS OF 6AM (EASTERN)
According to Reuters: Explosions struck two churches in the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi on Sunday, witnesses said, destroying one of them completely, although there were no immediate reports of casualties.
According to Vanguard: Two days after Boko Haram’s coordinated attack in Kano that left over 162 people dead, the radical Islamic sect is currently attacking Bauchi town and its environs. (See map above for location.)
According to reports, explosions were said to have rocked near IBB square, Jahun area and near a railway line in Bauchi township.
A police station in Tafawa Balewa local government area and another military checkpoint was attacked at Marar Rabar Liman Katagun. Vanguard cannot ascertain the number of casulties in the attacks.
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