Christmas Day Bombings Kill Dozens In Nigeria
More than a dozen people are dead following a series of coordinated Christmas Day bombings by Islamist militants in Nigeria. The bombs struck churches in five different cities across the west African country.
The first explosion struck St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla. A spokesman for Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency said 16 people were killed and 27 others were injured in that blast. However, witnesses reported that the death toll numbered in the dozens. Reuters is reporting that the death toll at one of the churches is up to 27.
According to Reuters:
Hours after the first bomb, blasts were reported at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church in the central, ethnically and religiously mixed town of Jos, and at a church in northern Yobe state at the town of Gadaka. Residents said many were wounded in Gadaka, but there were no immediate further details.
A suicide bomber killed four security officials at the State Security Service in one of the other bombs, which struck the northeastern town of Damaturu, police said.
The New York Times reported:
The militant sect Boko Haram, which seeks to impose Islamic law across the country, claimed responsibility for several of the bombings and was suspected in others.
Coming after several days of gun battles last week in which more than 60 people were killed and a wave of attacks in November that killed more than 100, the Christmas bombings were clearly intended to carry symbolic weight in a country whose population is about half Muslim and 40 percent Christian.
The same group carried out a series of Christmas Eve bombings last year.
Four people have been arrested in the attacks, and four unexploded devices were recovered, according to CNN.
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