"Gunmen armed with explosives killed at least 34 people in northeastern Nigeria when they attacked a cattle market and burned it to the ground, residents and officials said Thursday. The attack Wednesday night in the city of Potiskum was said to be in reprisal for an incident earlier in the day, when a gang sought to rob the market but were fought off by traders who caught one of the attackers, police said. The man who was caught was doused in petrol and a tyre was placed around his neck before he was burnt to death, according to police and residents." - AFP
Nigeria map Potiskum Dikwa [Al Jazeera]
Dead cows lie amid burned posts Thursday, May 3, 2012, following a raid by gunmen in a cattle market in Potiskum, Nigeria. (AP Photos/Adamu Adamu)
Dead cattle seen Thursday, May 3, 2012 following a raid by gunmen in a cattle market in Potiskum, Nigeria..(AP Photos/Adamu Adamu)
blast at Gombomru local market in Nigeria's northern city Maiduguri on February 7, 2012. press tv
While scores of explosions have occurred in the delta in recent years, they have mainly targeted oil installations and have not taken on a sectarian dimension. "A locally made low-capacity explosive was thrown into an Arabic school in Sapele at 10:00 pm yesterday," said state police spokesman Charles Mouka. "It was thrown from an unidentified moving car ... Six children and one adult were wounded."
Nigeria was hit by several Christmas bombings blamed on Boko Haram (AFP/File, Sunday Aghaeze)
Heavy violence broke out in Damaturu last week (AFP, Aminu Abubakar)
The children are between five and eight years old, he said, and had been at the school, which has about 50 students, for evening Arabic and Koranic lessons.
Christian leaders have urged authorities to take action against spiralling violence blamed on Boko Haram, with deep frustration over their seeming inability to stop attacks despite heavy-handed military crackdowns. A Christian leader in Nigeria's north has warned that "religious war" could result if the problem is not addressed, though he urged Christians not to retaliate.
On Wednesday, a coalition of Nigerian Pentecostal churches said they will defend themselves if authorities do not protect them from attacks, though an official stressed they were not advocating taking up arms. "In the year 2012, if these unprovoked attacks continue, and Christians remain unprotected by the security agencies, then we will have no choice but to defend our lives and property," the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria coalition said.Nigeria's top Muslim spiritual leader met President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday over the Christmas attacks and afterward said the violence did not signal a religious conflict.
"I want to assure all Nigerians that there is no conflict between Muslims and Christians, between Islam and Christianity," Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar told journalists. "It's a conflict between evil people and good people. The good people are more than the evil ones, so the good people must come together to defeat the evil ones, and that is the message."
President Jonathan meets Sultan of Sokoto
President with vice President of Nigeria
Jonathan did not speak publicly after the meeting, but his national security adviser urged Christians to avoid retaliating over the Christmas bombings.
"Retaliation is not the answer, because if you retaliate, at what point will it end? Nigeria must survive as a nation," Owoye Azazi said. Violence had been raging even in the days before the Christmas bombings, especially in the northeastern cities of Damaturu, Potiskum and Maiduguri. Most violence attributed to Boko Haram has occurred in the northeast. In Damaturu, an estimated 90,000 people were displaced, an emergency official said, while a police source and rights group earlier said up to 100 were feared killed. "We advised the displaced against moving into any temporary camp for security reasons, therefore most of them are sheltering in the homes of friends and relatives in the city and neighbouring villages," said Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency.
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria utterly condemn the barbaric, senseless and cowardly attack on the United Nation’s Building in Abuja this morning.
The President believes that the attack is a most despicable assault on the United Nations’ objectives of global peace and security, and the sanctity of human life to which Nigeria wholly subscribes. He extends his sincere condolences to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon and all members of the United Nations family who have lost loved ones in the heinous attack.
President Jonathan reaffirms the Federal Government’s total commitment to vigorously combat the incursion of all forms of terrorism into Nigeria, and wishes to reassure all Nigerians and the international community that his Administration will spare no effort to bring the perpetrators to justice. The President has also directed all relevant government agencies to assist in the search and rescue effort at the UN Building, and ordered heightened security across the Federal Capital Territory.
He urges all Nigerians to cooperate fully with the government in its efforts to expose the desperate elements who promote violence, terrorism and division in the
While noting that by today’s attack, we are once again reminded of the international character of terrorism and its indiscriminate targeting of innocent civilians, President Jonathan affirms Nigeria’s determination to continue to play its part in the global effort to eradicate the scourge of terrorism in all its ramifications. He urges all Nigerians and foreigners resident in the country to go about their normal affairs with the full assurance that the Federal Government and its law enforcement agencies will continue working diligently to ensure the full protection of lives and property in the country.
Reuben Abati, Ph.D
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
August 26, 2011
Picture credits: Guardian, vanguard, Thisday