Boko Haram Attacks Prompt Nigeria State of Emergency
The government of Nigeria declared the state of emergency to stop the violence by the Islamic group, Boko Haram. The group is responsible for killing of several Christians, including over 40 believers on Christmas day.
12/31/2011 Nigeria (BBC News)-Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of emergency in areas worst affected by attacks from the Islamist group Boko Haram.
Borders would be closed temporarily in the north-eastern states of Yobe and Borno, and central state of Plateau.
Mr Jonathan vowed to "crush" Boko Haram, which killed dozens in attacks across the country on Christmas Day.
Speaking at a church in the capital, Abuja, where 37 people died, he described Boko Haram as "cancerous".
Boko Haram is thought to be responsible for a string of major attacks across Nigeria this year.
It bombed the headquarters of the UN in August 2011, leaving at least 21 dead and has targeted police as well. It has also in the past targeted Muslim leaders.
At least 42 people died in the Christmas Day bombings of churches and other targets. Tens of thousands of people have fled their homes in Maiduguri in Borno State, as well as other cities.
"Nigeria being the body, they want to kill it," Me Jonathan added. "But nobody will allow them to do that."
While offering his condolences to victims' relatives at St Theresa's Church in Abuja the president said: "We will crush the terrorists. If there are institutions... which are harbouring terrorists, we will deal with them."
Boko Haram, which originated in Maiduguri, wants to impose strict Sharia law across Nigeria.
Earlier this week, Nigeria's main Christian group warned that the community might have to defend itself if the security forces could not protect it.
Analysts said the move raised the spectre of communal clashes in Africa's most populous nation, which is divided between a largely Muslim north and a mainly Christian and animist south.
Tags: Boko Haram