Conflict & Justice

Death toll in Nigerian gun, bomb attacks rises



Suicide bombers are now targeting military bases in Nigeria.


Pius Utomi Ekpei

As many as 150 have died in bomb attacks and shootings by a religious sect targeting police stations and churches in Nigeria, according to EuroNews

According to Xinhua, attackers in the north-eastern city of Damaturu, in Nigeria's Yobe state, destroyed the police headquarters, anti-terrorist squad base, First Bank, Secretariat complex and some churches on Friday.  

Read more on GlobalPost: Suicide bombers target Nigerian military headquarters

The attacks come on the back of similar raids in the city of Maiduguri, in neighboring Borno state, in which three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside military and intelligence targets, the BBC reports.

The Islamist group Boko Haram is believed to be behind the attacks. Boko Haram — which means "Western education is sacrilege" — wants to impose Islamic Sharia law in Nigeria, has been running a terror campaign for two years.

On Sunday, The Associated Press reported, sect gunmen stopped a security officer's car at gunpoint as he neared a mosque to pray with his family in the city of Maiduguri, the sect's spiritual home.

Gunmen ordered the family away, then shot the inspector to death,

And the group has promised that "more attacks are on the way," Al Jazeera reports, quoting a Boko Haram spokesman, using the nom de guerre Abul-Qaqa.

Read more on GlobalPost: Nigeria braces for more extremist violence

According to Yobe’s state police commissioner, Friday's attacks caught authorities by surprise.

However, since then more soldiers have been deployed to reinforce security and the government has imposed a curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan condemned the attacks via a statement issued late on Saturday in Abuja.

The Nigerian leader not only said that the attacks indicated the pursuit of an unholy agenda, but that they were a violation of the spirit of Eid-el-Kabir, a festival celebrating brotherhood, friendship and good neighborliness, Xinhua reported.

The U.N. Security Council has called the attacks "criminal and unjustifiable."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement, reported by the AP, called for "an end to all violence in the area."