Nigeria’s top Muslim figure condemns UN suicide-bomber attack

2011-08-31 10:20

Kano, Nigeria – Nigeria’s top Muslim spiritual leader has condemned last week’s bomb attack on UN headquarters in the country that killed at least 23 people, calling it “detestable to Islam”.

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, in a message to Nigerian Muslims marking the end of Ramadan yesterday called on those behind the bombing in Abuja to seek dialogue with government instead of carrying out violence.

“The bombing of the United Nations building on Friday is an abominable act that is detestable to Islam, and is not in any way condoned by the religion of Islam,” Abubakar said in the message broadcast from his palace in the northern city of Sokoto.

“We therefore called on all those involved in this nefarious act to fear God and desist from committing this grave act. They should rather seek for avenues of dialogue with leaders.”

A suicide bomber forced his way past two gates and rammed his bomb-laden car into the building on Friday, setting off an explosion that killed 23 people and injured dozens of others.

An Islamist sect known as Boko Haram blamed for scores of deadly attacks in the north claimed responsibility, but police say they are looking at all possibilities.

In July, the sultan had urged authorities to stop blaming Boko Haram for all violence in the country’s northeast and pursue those responsible.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation with some 150 million people, divided roughly in half between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south.

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