Twenty-seven people were killed in terror attacks at churches across Nigeria on Christmas Day.
Five bombs exploded on Christmas Day at churches in Nigeria, one killing at least 27 people, raising fears that Islamist militant group Boko Haram – which claimed responsibility – is trying to ignite sectarian civil war.
Boko Haram, which wants to impose Islamic sharia law across a country of 160 million split roughly between Christians and Muslims, has increased the sophistication of the explosives it uses this year and has increased the number of its attacks.
St Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madala, an Abuja satellite town about 40 km (25 miles) from the centre of the capital, was packed when the bomb exploded just outside.
“We were in the church with my family when we heard the explosion. I just ran out,” Timothy Onyekwere told Reuters. “Now I don’t even know where my children or my wife are. I don’t know how many were killed but there were many dead.”
Boko Haram – which in the Hausa language spoken in northern Nigeria means “Western education is sinful” – is loosely modeled on the Taliban movement in Afghanistan.