Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
25 dead in Nigeria after multiple attacks by sect


The Associated Press

First Published Jun 19 2012 01:10 pm • Last Updated Jun 19 2012 08:27 pm

Maiduguri, Nigeria • A radical Islamist sect unleashed multiple attacks in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 25 people, authorities said Tuesday as fears swelled about the government’s inability to corral rising sectarian violence.

The attacks worsened an already tense security situation in Nigeria, an African nation of more than 160 million people almost evenly divided between Muslims and Christians.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The Boko Haram sect began its attacks Monday evening with blasts targeting police and military targets in the city of Damaturu, authorities said. Gunfire echoed across the city for hours, spilling into Tuesday afternoon. One resident said at least two schools were torched.

The attacks killed at least twenty civilians and five security officers and left nine other people hospitalized, according to Nigerian Red Cross official Andronicus Adeyemo.

"The terrorists are trying to show that they can’t be stopped," said Yobe State police chief Patrick Egbuniwe, who said the dead included three policemen and two soldiers.

The Islamist Boko Haram sect, whose name means "Western education is sacrilege" in the Hausa language, is waging an increasingly bloody fight with Nigeria’s security agencies and public. More than 580 people have been killed in violence blamed on the sect this year alone, according to an Associated Press count.

The Yobe state government imposed a 24-hour curfew in Damaturu on Tuesday in an effort to limit casualties. Damaturu had already been under a dusk-to-dawn curfew since a state of emergency was declared in December.

The sect, which speaks to journalists by telephone when it chooses, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The violence came a day after Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a trio of deadly church bombings Sunday in the northern state of Kaduna, which, along with ensuing reprisal killings, left at least 70 people dead and over 100 wounded, a rescue official Tuesday. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

Boko Haram’s spiritual home of Maiduguri is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) east of Damaturu, the capital of rural Yobe state.

story continues below
story continues below

Nigeria’s national security adviser Andrew Azazi told journalists Tuesday that the government is working to create dialogue.

"Things happen but as a nation, as a people, we must address situation not necessarily by killing each other," Azazi said.

But the government’s handing of the crisis has drawn much criticism. The Christian Association of Nigeria described its approach as "cavalier" in a statement Tuesday.

"Since these terrorist acts began, nothing the (president) has done has been re-assuring that the end to this spate of bombings and gun attacks is in sight," the group said.

Authorities have blamed Boko Haram for a string of attacks in Nigeria’s northeast that persist despite a heightened security presence, including bombings and shootings last November that left more than 100 dead around Damaturu.

The northeastern states of Borno and Yobe and the central states of Niger and Plateau have been under a state of emergency since Dec. 31.

A series of curfews in recent months have highlighted Nigeria’s volatile security situation.

A curfew was imposed Sunday in Kaduna state to curtail the reprisals triggered by the church attacks. On Tuesday, however, after the 24-hour curfew was relaxed to just a dusk-to-dawn curfew, angry mobs took the streets once again, burning tires along the way, the Nigerian Red Cross reported. Soldiers responded with gunfire to disperse the mobs. The Kaduna government re-imposed the 24-hour curfew Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.