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*Bloody Xmas In Nigeria - Churches Bombed, Many Killed
( Sunday, December 25, 2011 ) - Series of bombs were today detonated by suicide terrorists at churches in five Nigerian cities, resulting to many casualties. Churches in the cities of Madalla, Jos, Kano, and Damaturu and Gadaka were bombed by terrorists. The first and deadliest bombing occurred during morning Christmas service at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla on the outskirts of Abuja, the capital city. 32 deaths have been confirmed in the Madalla attack. The death toll is expected to rise as seriously wounded victims may die in hospital receiving treatment. Several blasts were reported hours after the Madalla bombing, at Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church in Jos, Plateau State and at a church in Gadaka, Yobe State. Blasts were also reported in Damaturu in Yobe State, but this time a police station and a state security building were attacked in addition to churches. Miraculously, no one was killed in the Mountain of Fire attack. A police officer who got into gun battle with the attackers died of his wounds in hospital. ( Continues below….. )
Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group, has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The group whose name in Hausa language means "western education is sinful" is modeled after Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. It wants to impose sharia law across Nigeria through terror attacks in drawing attention to their demands. Nigeria is split roughly equally between Christians and Moslems. In recent days, gun battle between security forces and Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria killed over 50 in two days of fighting. "There was a major encounter with the Boko Haram in Damaturu" Ihejirika, Nigeria Army Chief said Friday. "We lost three of our soldiers, seven were wounded. But we killed over 50 of their members." Ihejirika added. Boko Haram's targets include police stations, churches and buildings/structures associated with Western influence. The Vatican condemned the church bomb attacks, describing them as senseless. Father Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman said "We are close to the suffering of the Nigerian church and the entire Nigerian people so tried by terrorist violence, even in these days that should be of joy and peace". Lombardi called the attack "another manifestation of blind and absurd violence which has no respect for human life and seeks to enflame more hate and confusion". ( Continues below….. )
U.S. condemned the Nigerian attacks which it called acts of terrorism. "We condemn this senseless violence and tragic loss of life on Christmas Day. We have been in contact with Nigerian officials about what initially appear to be terrorist acts and pledge to assist them in bringing those responsible to justice." the White House said in a statement released from Hawaii, where President Obama is on vacation. Today's bombings mark the second Christmas season that terrorists attacked churches in Nigeria. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for last year Christmas Eve attacks in Jos that killed 32 people. The group attacked five churches in the city while residents were celebrating Christmas Eve. The terror group claimed responsibility for two bombings in Abuja earlier this year, including suicide bombing of UN headquarters in August which killed at least 23 people.
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