Christmas Day church attacks in Nigeria kill 27 | world | Hindustan Times
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Christmas Day church attacks in Nigeria kill 27

world Updated: Dec 26, 2011 01:59 IST

Reuters
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Five bombs exploded on Christmas Day at churches in Nigeria, one killing at least 27 people, raising fears that Islamist militant group Boko Haram — which claimed responsibility — is trying to ignite sectarian civil war.

Boko Haram, which wants to impose Islamic sharia law across a country of 160 million split roughly between Christians and Muslims, has increased the sophistication of the explosives it uses this year and has increased the number of attacks. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/26-12-pg-15a.jpg

St Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madala, an Abuja satellite town about 40 km from the ­capital, was packed when the bomb exploded just outside.

“We were in the church with my family when we heard the explosion. I just ran out,” Timothy Onyekwere told reporters. “Now I don’t even know where my children or my wife are. I don’t know how many were killed but there were many dead.”

The group’s low level insurgency used to be largely confined to northeastern Nigeria, but it has struck several parts of the north, centre and the capital Abuja this year.

Hours after the first bomb, blasts were reported at the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church in the central, ethnically and religiously mixed town of Jos, and at a church in ­northern Yobe state and at Gadaka. Residents said many were wounded in Gadaka, but there were no more details.