Sunday bloody Sunday, thanks to Islam. The media is already starting to spin this and focus on retaliation by Christians. via gulfnews : Nigeria church bombings kill seven, spark reprisals.
Zaria, Nigeria: Explosions at three churches in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state killed at least seven people on Sunday, leading furious Christian youths to drag Muslims out of their cars and kill them in retaliation, officials and witnesses said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Islamist sect Boko Haram has often attacked church services in Nigeria, split roughly evenly between Christians and Muslims.
The explosions and retaliatory attacks stoked fears of wider sectarian conflict in Africa’s top oil producer and Opec member, although flare-ups of this nature are usually brief.
Two explosions rocked churches in the town of Zaria within minutes of each other. First, a suicide bomber drove a blue Honda civic into a church, burning the front entrance and damaging the building, the church’s pastor told a Reuters cameraman at the scene.
“Three people are confirmed killed. Others have been taken to hospital for treatment,” Reverend Nathan Waziri said.
Then, militants threw bombs at another church, killing four children who were playing on the streets outside, said resident Deborah Osagie, who lives opposite the church. She added that the militants were later caught by a mob and killed.
A blast hit a third church in the state’s main city of Kaduna, causing an unknown number of casualties, witnesses and the National Emergency Management Agency said.
After the bombs, angry youths blocked the highway leading south out of Kaduna to the capital Abuja, dragging Muslims out of their cars and killing them, witnesses said.
“We had to return home when we saw them [the Christian youths] attacking. I saw many bodies on the ground but I don’t know how many were dead or just injured,” said Kaduna resident Rafael Gwaza.
Witness Haruna Eisa said up to 20 people may have been killed in reprisals at the road block. “There were bodies everywhere on the ground,” he said.
Regular attacks on Sunday church services are usually claimed by Boko Haram, which says it is fighting to reinstate an ancient Islamic caliphate that would adhere to strict Sharia.
Boko Haram, which has become increasingly radicalised and meshed with other groups in the region, including Al Qaida’s north African wing, is the leading security threat to Nigeria.
Militants also attacked two churches in Nigeria last Sunday, spraying the congregation of one with bullets, killing at least one person, and blowing up a car in a suicide bombing at the other, wounding 41.
The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, has justified attacks on Christians as revenge for killings of Muslims in Nigeria’s volatile “Middle Belt”, where the largely Christian south and mostly Muslim north meet.
Kaduna is close to the Middle Belt areas.
As One News Now reported last week, Sunday proves deadly in Nigeria.
“The reality is: this is the kind of violence that they want to precipitate across the entire country.” More concerning is that it doesn’t look like it will stop with just the North being under full Sharia. It’s the kind of violence that president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathon, is facing spreading throughout the rest of the country.”
Moeller says there are also concerns that Christians will strike back. On May 42, church leaders issued a final warning and issued demands for protection. Will this attack be the “tipping point?” Moeller says they’re still encouraging believers not to give in to retaliation. “Violence in response to violence only produces more violence.” However, he goes on to acknowledge that “the question here is, ‘At what point is enough, enough?’ You take whatever steps necessary to protect your family, your church, and your community. I think that point is drawing very close where the Christians of Nigeria are going to be making responses and retaliation.”