Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Nigeria: Church Buries Its Dead, Calls Upon Christians to Forgive as New Details Reveal Al-Qaeda’s Hand in Boko Haram Attacks

Nigeria: Church Buries Its Dead, Calls Upon Christians to Forgive as New Details Reveal Al-Qaeda’s Hand in Boko Haram Attacks

AP – “A Catholic church in Nigeria still in mourning after a Christmas Day bombing by a radical Islamist sect buried its dead Wednesday amid wails of grief and under the watch of security agencies that still fear more violence.

Neatly dug graves awaited the corpses in a vacant dirt lot in the church’s compound, now turned into a mass tomb. Church officials said that of at least 44 people who died in the violence at St. Theresa Catholic Church, some still remain unclaimed and unrecognizable after the Dec. 25 attack by the sect known as Boko Haram.

Inside the church, whose front steps have been barred off by iron fencing, red bunting hung above the altar over a crucifix and a painting of Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, his hands open wide, his face serene. About 2,000 mourners and priests surrounded the caskets placed there.

One casket, covered in Nigeria’s green-and-white national flag, had a pair of black boots sitting atop. The body within belonged to a young Boy Scout.

‘As I look at you, I am consoled and comforted. As I looked at the caskets here covered in white, I am comforted and consoled because from the day of our baptism we were given a white cloth,’ Bishop Martin Uzoukwu said.

The bishop called on the crowd to forgive, as well as praise God.” Read more.

Al-Qaeda’s hand in Boko Haram’s deadly Nigerian attacks – “The radical Islamist group, based in northern Nigeria, once specialised in robbing banks and attacking defenceless Christian congregations. In the past month, however, its gunmen or suicide bombers have struck 21 times, killing at least 253 people. The Daily Telegraph understands this transformation has come about partly because of the help Boko Haram has received from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a branch of the international terrorist network based in the Saharan states of Mali, Niger and Algeria. Boko Haram demonstrated its new potency on Jan 20, when at least 100 of the movement’s fighters executed eight assaults in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano, overwhelming the security forces and killing 185 people. This operation bore all the hallmarks of al-Qaeda: a mixture of suicide bombers and gunmen, some in police or army uniform, carried out multiple, carefully coordinated attacks on hard targets.” Read more.

Nigeria: Boko Haram – Delta Churches Acquire Bomb Detectors – “In response to the growing insecurity in the country, churches in Delta State have taken measures to protect their premises and congregations from bomb attacks. The churches have therefore acquired bomb detecting machines or Friskers. LEADERSHIP checks revealed that in the last few weeks major congregations have been enveloped in fear of the unknown and had acquired bomb detectors as the only solution to the spate of bombings in the country. Sources said while most churches in Asaba and Ibusa had acquired the friskers, others have resorted to using private security personnels and may have concluded plans to acquire theirs too. Dependable sources said that Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) worried by dastardly acts perpetrated by Boko Haram, especially the Madalla Christmas Day bombing, has encouraged church leaders to enhance their security either by private arrangement or in concert with the formal security agencies.” Source – allAfrica.com.

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