Gunmen kill 6 in Nigeria church attack

2012-01-06 08:08

Kano - Gunmen opened fire on a church service in Nigeria on Thursday, killing six people and wounding 10, the church's pastor said, the latest in a string of attacks that has raised fears of sectarian conflict in Africa's most populous nation.

"The attackers started shooting sporadically. They shot through the window of the church, and many people were killed including my wife," Pastor Johnson Jauro told Reuters by telephone from his Deeper Life church in Nasarawa, Gombe state in northern Nigeria.

"Many of my members who attended the church service were also injured," he said.

The gun attack followed a warning from violent Islamist sect Boko Haram published in local newspapers on Tuesday that Christians had three days to leave majority Muslim northern Nigeria or they would be killed.

Analysts say it looks increasingly likely the group - or some factions within it - want to trigger reprisals from Christians against Muslims in the nation of 160 million split roughly evenly between the two faiths.

The militant group also claimed responsibility for a series of bomb attacks across Nigeria on Christmas Day, including one at a church near the capital Abuja that killed at least 37 people and wounded 57.

Most Christians live in the south and most Muslims in the north, but many communities are mixed, and they usually live side by side in peace.

Gombe state's police commissioner was not immediately available to comment on the violence.

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the northeast and two other regions in Nigeria on December 31, in a bid to contain a growing insurgency by Boko Haram, which says it wants to apply Islamic sharia law across Nigeria.

Heavily armed troops and tanks have been patrolling parts of northeast Nigeria since Jonathan made the announcement.

Divisions strained

The attacks targeting Christian houses of worship have strained Nigeria's increasingly fractious north-south divide.

Christian associations have accused Jonathan of not doing enough to contain the Islamist threat and said violence could provoke a sectarian civil war.

Two suspected Nigerian Islamist sect members were arrested on Thursday after an attack which killed two people, the military said, as authorities stepped up a crackdown on the increasingly violent group.

"We have arrested two of the Boko Haram members who killed a man and his son in Dala on Wednesday night. They left behind their handsets through which we were able to trace them," said Colonel Victor Ebhemele, operations officer of the joint task force operating in Borno state.

Dala is a ward in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno, a remote dusty region which sits on borders with Cameroon, Niger and Chad which is at the heart of the Boko Haram insurgency. These borders were closed as part of Jonathan's emergency measures.

At least two bomb blasts shook Maiduguri on Wednesday, and a gun battle in another town killed at least one civilian, police said.

  • jorg.gurtler - 2012-01-06 08:35

    You Are Savages..and minions from will not prevail demon will be cast into the lake of fire...i pray this in the name of Jesus....your time is running out...

      Charmaine - 2012-01-06 09:21

      Thanks you, all things are possible for those who Believe. One Way Jesus.

      Fredster - 2012-01-06 09:40

      Atheistis...Your commect just shows the way that common man thinks

  • thozamah - 2012-01-06 08:59

    we have more in Hillbrow and Seapoint , feel free 2 come by

  • Charmaine - 2012-01-06 09:16

    There is only One Creator Of this Entire Universe. We all pray to The Same God, There is Only One Jesus Christ, The soon Coming Messiah, The King Of Kings, The Lord Of Lords, Even the Arabic Scriptures confirm The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ, and now is The Time Of The End. These so called Muslims are the ones disputing. Yet amongst them are Believers who do right, so with those who call themselves Christians, not all are Believers. God will punish the criminals, both men and women in this very life time and the fires of Hell are ready for these killers.

  • Charmaine - 2012-01-06 09:22

    God bless the families of those who were slain. and God grant Paradise for those whose blood was shed. Amen.

      Buck - 2012-01-06 10:00

      Atheitis, you buddy are a tool. If u are Atheist, its your choice, I wonder though why you keep needling Theists at every turn. Live and let live

      Martin - 2012-01-06 13:47

      Atheitis, you as an atheist should stay out of this. You have no positive contribution to make here. Why all this ranting when you're not involved in this?

  • jubril84 - 2012-01-06 10:22

    Atheitis, I am a fellow atheist and I would love to criticize but I am not. It doesn't help a foul situation when you who claim to be clear of mind join the theists in the name calling finger pointing. 1 benefit of being an atheist is neutrality in all these issues allowing you to have a global mindset, making you to see the wrongs and rights of every religious belief. Both sides have their weaknesses, yet you attack only one. Rethink your stance.

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