News24

Boko Haram claims weekend funeral carnage

2012-07-10 12:36

Kano - Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists on Tuesday claimed a weekend attack at a graveyard in central Plateau state that left at least 22 people dead, including two prominent politicians.

Police and officials have blamed nomadic Fulani herdsmen for the raid and Boko Haram has in the past claimed killings widely thought to have been carried out by another group, in an effort to boost its stature.

In a statement issued from purported spokesperson Abul Qaqa, Boko Haram said it "wants to inform the world of its delight over the success of the attacks we launched... in Plateau state on Christians and security operatives, including members of the National Assembly".

Among those killed in the graveyard assault were federal senator Gyang Dantong and the majority leader of Plateau state's legislature Gyang Fulani.

"We will continue to hunt for government officials wherever they are; they will have no peace again," said the statement from the Islamist group that has carried out waves of assaults in northern and central Nigeria.

Boko Haram has also previously struck in Plateau, including a suicide bombing at a church in the capital Jos last month.

The Fulani pastoralists, a majority Muslim group accused of the graveyard slayings, have long-standing land rights grievances against the Christian ethnic groups who control political power in the state.

The funeral where the Sunday killings took place was for some of the victims killed in an attack the previous day.

Officials said that suspected Fulani gunmen stormed several Christian villages in Plateau on Saturday, killing at least 80 people.