May 21, 2014

Devastating Nigeria attacks show twisted ambition of Boko Haram

A large part of northern and central Nigeria is now at the mercy of intensified attacks by Boko Haram, and the group seems to be embarking on a new phase of its campaign against the Nigerian state -- piling further pressure on the government of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The last four days have seen devastating bomb attacks in Jos, in central Nigeria, as well as a suicide bombing in Kano - the largest city in the north. Two more villages in the state of Borno, Boko Haram's stronghold in the northeast, came under attack, with at least 30 civilians killed. There have also been two bomb attacks in the federal capital, Abuja, in the last five weeks. Read more

May 15, 2014

Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists?

By Farouk Chothia, BBC Africa

Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram - which has caused havoc in Africa's most populous country through a wave of bombings, assassinations and now abductions - is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state.

Its followers are said to be influenced by the Koranic phrase which says: "Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors". Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it "haram", or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society. This includes voting in elections, wearing shirts and trousers or receiving a secular education. Boko Haram regards the Nigerian state as being run by non-believers, even when the country had a Muslim president. Read more

April 14, 2014

Nigeria Islamists kill 68 in two village attacks: witnesses

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist militants killed at least 60 people in an attack on a village in northeast Nigeria, while a separate attack killed eight people at a teacher training college, witnesses said.

Boko Haram, which wants to carve an Islamic state out of Africa's most populous country, split roughly equally between Christians and Muslims, has killed thousands since launching an uprising in the northeast four and a half years ago.

Witnesses said the gunmen attacked the village of Kala Balge, near the Cameroon border, on Thursday, from several different quarters, shooting sporadically as terrified residents tried to flee. Read more

(Reporting by Lanre Ola; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Feb. 25, 2014

DAMATURU, Nigeria (AP) — Suspected Islamic militants killed 29 students in a pre-dawn attack Tuesday on a northeast Nigerian school, survivors said, setting ablaze a locked dormitory and shooting and slitting the throats of those who escaped through windows. Some were burned alive. Read more

Sept. 20, 2013

Suspected Islamist Militants Kill 142 in Northeastern Nigeria

By Gbenga Akingbule and Maram Mazen September 20, 2013

At least 142 corpses were found in a northeastern Nigerian town after an attack by suspected members of the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, local officials said.

“Yesterday alone 87 corpses were evacuated from the road and bushes,” Saidu Yakubu, a spokesman for the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency, said yesterday in a statement handed to reporters in Benisheik town. Read more

June 12, 2013

Suspected Boko Haram extremists launched a two-day attack on villages in northern Nigeria’s Borno state, killing at least two people and setting alight many churches.

Release partner Stefanos Foundation says that Rev Jacob Kwizer, a retired minister in the Church of Christ in Nigeria, died on Monday when extremists raided several villages in the local government area of Gwoza. Churches were attacked in Gharaza, Tatsa, Kunde, Arboko, Chinene and other villages during the two days.Further violence yesterday claimed the life of a Muslim named Ajiya Yyay, a cousin of the Emir of Gwoza, in Tokombare district. Stefanos says that Muslims and Christians alike have fled the area. Read more

7 killed, 100 wounded in Nigeria church bombing

USA Today

KADUNA, Nigeria (AP) — A suicide bomber rammed an SUV loaded with explosives into a Catholic church holding Mass on Sunday in northern Nigeria, killing at least seven people and wounding more than 100 others in an attack that sparked reprisal killings in the city, authorities and witnesses said.

As rescuers tried to reach the wounded in the Malali neighborhood of Kaduna, angry youths armed with machetes and clubs beat to death two Muslims passing by the still-smoldering ruins of St. Rita's Catholic church. Read more

Suicide Bombing in Nigeria Kills Two at Church

The Telegraph UK

A suicide car bomber attacked a Catholic church conducting Mass in northern Nigeria on Sunday, killing two people and wounding another 45 in a region under assault by a radical Islamist sect, officials said. Read more

Sept. 5, 2012

Nigeria: Pastor Survives Attack

A pastor supported by VOM survived an attack by Muslim extremists on Friday, Aug. 10, according to VOM contacts. At least seven gunmen entered an Ekillisiyar Yan’Uwa Nigeria (EYN) church compound in Borno state, intending to kill the pastor, his wife and three children.

One gunman entered the room of the pastor’s 24-year-old son, but “God gave him the courage and strength to push the man down,” VOM contacts said. The young man was shot in the leg and fell to the ground as he fled his attacker. Read more

The pastor ran from the family’s house when he heard the gunshots, only to see his son lying on the ground and gunmen shooting at him. Although the pastor was not hit, he also fell to the ground when the gunmen fired at him. Thinking both men were either dead or injured, the gunmen entered the house to search for the church key.

After confronting the pastor’s wife and two other children, the gunmen ordered them to lie face down on the floor. The family remained in the house as the attackers set fire to the house and church. The woman and her children eventually escaped the fire and hid in bushes near the church.

Apparently satisfied with the burning buildings and persuaded that the pastor and his family were dead or seriously injured, the gunmen fired their guns into the air while shouting, “Allahu Akbar.” As the attackers left the scene, they unknowingly passed right by the pastor and his family hiding in the bushes.

The family remained in hiding through the night and took the oldest son to a hospital in Maiduguri the next morning. He has been released from the hospital, and the family is staying with another pastor in Maiduguri.

Sources: VOM contacts,,

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