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Nigeria: Policeman Guarding a church is Killed

ICC Note

The policeman was guarding the church after radical Muslims attacked churches and killed six Christians in Madiguri, Nigeria. Members of Boko Haram, a radical Islamic group, claimed responsibility for attacking the churches and killing the Christians.”

01/10/2011 Nigeria (The Washington Post)-Gunmen suspected to be part of a radical Muslim sect attacked a church and killed a policeman in northeast Nigeria, just weeks after police assigned officers to protect churches in the region, authorities said Monday.

At least eight other people died in weekend rioting in the central Nigerian city of Jos, a flashpoint of religious tension between Christians and Muslims, police said. Security forces patrolled the city’s empty streets, as many stayed home out of fear of new attacks.

The policemen was killed after gunmen in Maiduguri opened fire on the church in a drive-by shooting near the Maiduguri International Airport after the sunset Sunday night, Borno state police commissioner Mohammed Abubakar said. Abubakar said the attackers also shot the church’s watchman in the leg and in the shoulder.

In Jos, about 320 miles (520 kilometers) away from Maiduguri, Plateau State police commissioner Abdurrahman Akano confirmed at least eight people died in weekend rioting that began when Christian youths in a village nearby attacked a car carrying Muslims coming home from a wedding Friday night.

Local officials in the Christian and Muslim communities gave their own accounts of the violence Monday. Mark Lipdo, coordinator of a Christian organization called the Stefanos Foundation, said his volunteers saw seven dead Christian taken to a local hospital.

“I saw rioters shooting four people with my own eyes,” said Samuel Bondip, a lawyer living in a Christian neighborhood, “They burnt down St. Peter’s Church and a school near Bolingo Hotel. Somebody was burnt to ashes inside the church.”

Malam Danjuma Mohamed, an official with a large Islamic organization, said that his mosque had received the bodies of seven Muslims from one neighborhood. He also said a mosque had been burned down.

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