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Nigeria: Islamist Attacks on Christians Had Clearly Religious Motivation

ICC Note

“Unlike other incidents in the past that had other causes, the attacks at Christmas have a clear religious motivation.”

01/04/2011 Pakistan (Spero News)- “It was an attack on places symbolic of Christianity. Unlike other incidents in the past that had other causes, the attacks at Christmas have a clear religious motivation,” said  Catholic Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, the capital of the Nigerian state of Plateau. On Christmas Eve 2010, a series of explosions hit some areas of Jos, causing dozens of deaths and at least 100 injuries. In the following days several Christian places of worship were attacked by gunmen in the area of Maiduguri in northeastern Nigeria, leading to more victims.

Responsibility for the attacks was claimed by the Islamist sect Boko Haram. The violence did not spare the federal capital, Abuja, where on New Year’s Eve a bomb exploded in a market near a police station causing at least four deaths and dozens of wounded.

“My impression is that these acts of violence are part of a plan to destabilize Nigeria, and that someone from outside the country is lighting the fire,” said Archbishop Kaigama.”

“The attacks at Christmas, rather, have a clear religious significance because they wanted to hit these important symbols of Christianity during the most sacred celebrations, along with Easter. Secondly, in past clashes, bladed weapons and some rifles were used. In this case, rather, explosives were used. The bombs were probably made on site, but I wonder who taught the terrorists how to produce them. So I think that recent events go beyond Nigeria,” said the Archbishop Kaigama.

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