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Several killed in latest Nigeria religious attack

By on January 7, 2012

Gunmen shot dead more than 10 people in northeastern Nigeria on Friday after storming a town hall where a group of Christians were meeting, residents said, the latest in a string of attacks that has raised fears of a sectarian conflict in Nigeria.

A Red Cross official confirmed the incident but gave no details on the number of dead.

The residents told Reuters the 10 who were killed at the hall in Mubi were mostly from the Igbo ethnic group, who are usually Christian and a minority in the mainly-Muslim northeast.

Mubi is in Adamawa state, just south of Borno state, the homeland of radical Islamist sect Boko Haram, whose members have been behind almost daily attacks in recent months.

A local newspaper this week published a warning from Boko Haram, a movement styled on the Taliban and whose name means “Western education is forbidden”, that Christians had three days to leave the majority Muslim areas in northern Nigeria or they would be killed.

Gunmen opened fire on a church service in Nigeria on Thursday, killing six people and wounding 10, the church’s pastor said.

Analysts say it looks increasingly likely the group – or factions within it – wants to trigger reprisals from Christians against Muslims to bring on a full religious conflict.

The nation of 160 million is 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.


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