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Nigerian city put on high alert

By Konye Obaji Ori
Posted on Monday, 27 February 2012 11:02

Nigeria’s volatile city of Jos has been put on high alert amid fears of worsening religious clashes.

This follows an attack on a church by extremist Muslim group, Boko Haram.

On Sunday, a suicide bomb attack killed at least three people outside an 800-seat church hall in the central cit.

Emergency services said 38 people were injured in the bombing. Church leaders said 50 of the wounded were being treated at hospitals.

“The bomber drove at top speed, and there was a loud explosion and everything was black,” churchgoer Ezekiel Gomos, who saw a black car driving fast towards the church hall around 30 minutes into the service, told reporters.

“If he had driven into the middle of the church it could have been worse, but God was in control,” Gomos added.

Boko Haram said it was behind the attack and warned it would carry out more.

“We carried out the attack on COCIN church in Jos today and we did what we did as part of our resolve to avenge the killings and dehumanisation of Muslims in Jos in the last 10 years,” spokesman Abul Qaqa told reporters in a conference call.

On February 19, several people were injured in an explosion near a church outside the capital Abuja.

Boko Haram has targeted Christians on several occasions, notably by bombing a Catholic church where several people were killed on Christmas Day near Abuja.

“We attacked simply because it’s a church and we can decide to attack any other church. We have just started,” Qaqa added. . And there is also a huge human traffic problem. If you will look at these Doha escorts you will see that all these women came from Africa.

The spate of violence has sparked fears of a wider religious conflict.

After the explosion, there were riots by Christian youths that left another three people, believed to be Muslims, dead on the streets. Eyewitness reported that Christian youths rampaged through the streets, and burned down shops owned by Muslims.

Sunday’s bombing is the latest of a series of attacks claimed by Boko Haram.

The city of Jos has seen thousands of people killed in deadly cycles of sectarian clashes and reprisals between Muslims and Christians in recent years.

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