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Christmas attacks claim 38 in Nigeria

[ 2010-12-28 11:17]     字号 [] [] []  
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Dozens of armed men attacked the church, dragging the pastor out of his home and shooting him to death. Two young men from the choir rehearsing for a late-night carol service also were slain.

The group of about 30 attackers armed with guns and knives even killed two people passing by Victory Baptist Church. The assailants only left after setting the church and pastor's house ablaze.

Danjuma Akawu, the church's secretary, managed to escape after he and others climbed over the church's fence.

"I cannot understand these attacks," Akawu said. "Why Christians? Why Christians? The police have failed to protect us."

At the opposite end of the city, Reverend Haskanda Jessu said that three men attacked the Church of Christ in Nigeria an hour later, killing a 60-year-old security guard.

At least 38 people died in Christmas Eve attacks across Nigeria, including the six killed at churches in the country's north by suspected members of a radical Muslim sect. In central Nigeria, 32 died in a series of bomb blasts in the worst violence to hit the region in months.

Authorities have not identified suspects following the Christmas Eve explosions in Jos and it was not immediately clear if those attacks had a religious motive. Two of the bombs went off near a large market where people were doing last-minute Christmas shopping. A third hit a mainly Christian area of Jos, while the fourth was near a road that leads to the city's main mosque.

On Sunday, there were reports of renewed violence in the area, though no official figures were released on the number of people who may have been wounded or killed.

Police have not said whether they believe the bombings were related to the church attacks. The two areas are about 520 km apart.

The group blamed for the church attacks - the radical Muslim sect known as Boko Haram - used to be based in Bauchi, about 120 km from the area where the bombs went off. The group is now headquartered in Maiduguri, where the church attacks took place.

The African Union Commission's Chairman, Jean Ping, expressed shock and sadness at the explosions in Jos and church attacks in Maiduguri.

"He condemns in the strongest terms these cowardly terrorist attacks, which cannot be justified under any circumstances," said a statement released by his office on Sunday.


(中国日报网英语点津 Julie 编辑)

Christmas attacks claim 38 in Nigeria

Christmas attacks claim 38 in Nigeria

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China daily for one year.