Nigeria Christians On Edge After Militants Kill Dozens

By BosNewsLife Africa Service

nigeria_christians1JOS, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)-- Christians in central Nigeria faced another day of potential attacks Sunday, December 14, after dozens of people were killed in twin bomb blasts by suspected Islamic militants.

At least more than 30 people were believed to have been killed in the predominantly Christian area of Jos and 45 wounded injured when fighters of Boko Haram exploded their devices.

Christians said among those killed was 63-year-old Christian widow Jummai Sunday.

Following a morning devotional, she reportedly visited sick or bereaved families, and then returned home to gather items for sale at her market spot near the bus terminal area in Jos.

She survived Thursday's twin bomb blasts, but gunmen swooped in on survivors and killed her with shots to her head, leg and hand, relatives said.

MORE EXPLOSIONS

In May, twin car bombs in Jos' Terminus marketplace killed at least 130 people as part of Boko Haram's self-declared aim to establish a strict Islamic state.

Analysts say the attacks are also an attempt to ignite fighting between Muslims and Christians. Jos is in Nigeria's Middle Belt, where the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south meet.

In northern Kano, Nigeria's second largest city, police commissioner Aderenle Shinaba told reporters they safely detonated a bomb hidden in a handbag. The bag had been planted Thursday, December 11, in a supermarket favored by foreigners.

News reports also said that police in Kano detained a teenage girl wearing a jacket primed with explosives.

Several bombs have been detonated by female suicide bombers, raising fears among Christians that Boko Haram is using some of the hundreds of kidnapped Christian girls and young women for its attacks.

SHOOTING PEOPLE

Twin bomb blasts killed at least 102 people at the main mosque in Kano on November 29, when gunmen also shot at people trying to escape, according to The Associated Press (AP) news agency.

At least 75 people have been killed in bomb blasts by female suicide bombers in recent weeks in Maiduguri, the northeastern capital of Borno state that is the birthplace of Boko Haram.

The militants have taken over several towns and villages along the northeast border with Cameroon, where it has already declared an Islamic caliphate.

President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian, has been under mounting pressure to improve protection of minority Christians in the troubled region.

Despite the attacks, many Christians continue to risk their lives to worship in churches on Sunday.

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