Gunmen kill 20 at mosque in Nigeria

2012-10-15 07:42

Kaduna - Gunmen opened fire on Muslim worshippers as they were leaving a mosque in northern Nigeria on Sunday, killing at least 20 people, a local official said.

The attack happened in a remote village called Dogo Dawa, in Kaduna state, said Abdullahi Muhammad, the traditional ruler and councillor of Birnin Gwari, a local government area next door to the village.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Like much of northern Nigeria, Kaduna is plagued by an insurgency led by radical Islamist sect Boko Haram. They usually attack security forces, government officials or Christians, but have hit Muslim clerics and mosques in the past, especially ones that do not follow their hardline brand of Islam.

Kaduna also lies close to Nigeria's volatile "Middle Belt", where Nigeria's mostly Muslim north and largely Christian south meet, and where tensions over land and ethnicity often erupt into violence.

But Abdulladhi said the attack was most likely carried out by a local criminal gang.

"We are suspecting a reprisal attack by gangs of armed robbers who lost some of their members after a recent exchange of fire with the villagers and the vigilantes," he said.

"The village had been terrorised by an armed group operating from camps in the forest. These armed men mostly attack villages and motorists along the busy Kaduna to Lagos highway."

The state police commissioner Olufemi Adenaike confirmed the incident, but said he could not yet confirm the death toll.

The Islamist insurgency in northern Nigeria and weapons flooding in from its neighbours on the threshold of the Sahara have aggravated levels of violence in the region. Armed robberies and local disputes degenerating into deadly shootouts are increasingly common across the impoverished north.

  • ppisciotta - 2012-10-15 12:28

    Where there are Muslims there is violent death.

  • tom.poe.12 - 2012-10-15 12:38

    The photo on this article points a finger to the insurgency although the article itself highlights it as criminal gang activity..... Make up your mind.....

  • mmoledis - 2012-10-15 15:51

    We need to stop all this crazy actions happening in Africa, what is happening in Nigeria is no good at all, the government need to work hard in order to unite that country as in Africa we do not want to have countries that are in the same state as Afghanistan and Pakistan, we need a united Nigeria, Nigeria for its citizens all living in it.

      tom.poe.12 - 2012-10-15 16:42

      PAUL LUBECK Google him

  • nicola.r.rossi.1 - 2012-10-16 10:53

    I am a Disgusted catholic! In a place of worship, good innocent people, my thoughts and prayers will be with the families who now suffer. God let those barbarians who did this come to know you. All religions should stand together, against this, we all have a right to worship.

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