President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's inner circle played a key role in his 11 March decision not to run for a fifth term amidst vast national protests calling for the end of this presidency and the system that has kept him in place.
Nigeria: War on the Church, Islamist group strikes again
Nigeria’s Islamist group, Boko Haram is not relenting on in its war against Christians after it attacked two more churches on Sunday.
According to a statement released by the terror group, the attacks were meant to prove that Boko Haram had been weakened.
“We launched these attacks to prove the Nigerian security wrong and to debunk their claim that we have been weakened by the military crackdown,” read part of the statement.
In Plateau state’s city of Jos, a Boko Haram suicide bomber blew himself up outside a church. The church building collapsed and 50 people were wounded when the bomber drove close to the church and ignited himself.
“The Nigerian state and christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state,” the group added.
After the suicide bombing in Jos, angry christians took to the streets in protest and christian youths set up roadblocks and had to be dispersed by police.
In Biu in northeastern Borno state, a Boko Haram man walked into a church and opened fire killing one person and injuring dozens.
“Gunmen came to the premises of the church and started firing at people outside the church before going into the main building to carry on their killings,” Reuters quoted a witness as saying.
Boko Haram spokesman, Abul Qaqa confirmed the attacks to reporters in the northeastern city of Maiduguri in a phone conference.
The group also claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a church last weekend, which left at least 12 people dead in Bauchi City.
The group has killed more than 1,000 people since mid-2009.
Their attacks have grown increasingly erudite, spreading fear from their base in the northeast across the wider north and down to the capital Abuja, in the center of the country.
The recent attacks have undermined efforts by christian and muslim leaders, to achieve peace and security.
Diplomatic efforts have also been futile.
Attempts at dialogue between the government and Boko Haram in March collapsed when a mediator quit and a Boko Haram representative said they could not trust the government.
Boko Haram has carried out numerous attacks on churches, schools, police stations and government buildings in northern Nigeria, and is said to be continually widening its targets.
Military crackdowns have so far failed to stop the group. Reports claim that its members are being trained by Al-Qaeda’s north African branch in northern Mali.