Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nigeria braces for more extremist violence

Global Post
18 October 2011

Killing of member of parliament highlights increasing aggression of Boko Haram extremist group.

Gillian Parker

ABUJA, Nigeria — The assassination of a member of parliament, an attack on an army barracks and the recent bombing of the United Nations offices in Abuja show that Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group, is growing in ambition and capability and threatening the country with terrorist violence almost daily.

Member of parliament Modu Bintube was shot dead at his home Sunday evening in Maiduguri, the capital of northeastern Borno state. Earlier Sunday an army barracks in neighboring Gombe was bombed and a gun battle followed in which a police sergeant and three suspected militants were killed.

Boko Haram's most brazen attack was the suicide bombing of the United Nations office building in the capital Abuja in August, which marked a significant escalation in the terrorist threat in Africa’s most populous nation.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has vowed to crack down on the violence. Jonathan has tried to deflect blame for the unrest away from the widening gulf between the largely Muslim north and mostly Christian south. However, a report this month urged the government to look closely at the domestic problems causing a devastating conflict in Africa’s largest oil exporter.

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