Drive-By Attackers Bomb Nigerian Arabic School
Attackers threw a crude bomb into an Arabic school in Delta State, Nigeria Tuesday around 10 pm. in a drive-by attack, wounding six children and an adult. No one claimed responsibility for the attack. The bombing is apparently in revenge to the Christmas Day bombings of churches and other targets in five northern cities by Boko Haram, an Islamic militant group. The attacks killed over 40 people. According to police spokesman Charles Muka: "Some men driving in a Camry car threw a low capacity explosive into a building where an Arabic class was taking place. Children aged between four and nine were taking a lesson. Six children were injured and one adult." Muka said police suspect a local vigilante group for the attack. While many explosions have hit the Delta region in recent times, they were mainly targeted at oil installations and were not sectarian.
Boko Haram, an Islamic sect which aims to impose Islamic sharia law across Nigeria, claimed responsibility for the Christmas Day bombings, the second in a row that terrorized Northern Christians during Christmas. The deadliest attack killed at least 32 in the suicide car bombing of St Theresa Catholic church in Madalla, a town in the outskirt of the capital city, Abuja. Analysts say the attacks risk reviving sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians in the country. Northern Christians fear the Christmas Day bombings could lead to a religious war in the country as they may ignite reprisals and counter-reprisals.
President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Ayo Oritsejafor urged Christians on Wednesday not to take revenge but should defend themselves, their properties and their places of worship "any way they can". "The consensus is that the Christian community nationwide will be left with no other option than to respond appropriately if there are any further attacks on our members, churches and property," Oritsejafor said. As frustration rose over Nigeria's inability to stop sectarian and militant attacks in the country despite military crackdowns, President Goodluck Jonathan said: "The terrorists are human beings, they are not spirits. They live with us, they dine with us. So we know them, people know them. And as long as Nigerians are committed to exposing them, we will get over this ugly situation."
In an unrelated development, a family of four was killed in a machete attack on Wednesday in Nigeria's ethnically and religiously mixed Plateau State. There were no indications the killings had any link to the Christmas Day bombings, as the victims were Christians. Plateau State is a crossroad of ethnic and religious rivalry and bickering over land and political power between local people (indigenes) and migrants (settlers) from other areas. These often result to sectarian killings, reprisals and counter-reprisals.
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