Radical Islamic Attacks Threaten Nigeria's Future

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The African country of Nigeria is continuing to witness a wave of attacks by the Islamic group Boko Haram.

Ten unexploded car bombs were discovered Monday in the aftermath of a weekend attack in the northern city of Kano.

The string of attacks have some wondering whether Africa's most populous country is breaking apart.

From protests over fuel subsidies to recent religious violence, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said the violence is worse than the country's 1960s civil war. He described it as "unprecedented evil."

Where is Boko Haram getting its support and how should Nigerian Christians respond?  Click play for George Thomas' report, followed by comments from Benjamin Kwashi, Anglican Archbishop of Jos, Nigeria.

At least 178 people died in the latest Kano attack, many of them police officers. Officials say the death toll could rise as high as 250.

"On my way out, I saw a dead body, a young man who was lying dead," one eyewitness said.

Eleven more people died when two churches were bombed in Bauchi State late Sunday.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the coordinated attacks.

The group is fighting for Islamic sharia law, including punishments like stoning, amputations and beheadings. In recent months, the militants targeted Christians and destroyed several churches in the northern part of the country.

Goodluck, who's a Christian from the south, has vowed to crush the group, ordering thousands of roadblocks across the country and stepped up security.

"We are now taking all possible measures to see that this occurrence does not happen again," said Aminu Ringim, a senior police officer.

So far, little has been done to stop the violence. There are not reports that key elements within the Nigerian armed forces and judiciary may be sympathetic to the militants.

Many are concerned that Boko Haram may try to spark a civil war to split the majority Muslim north away from the Christian south.

Meanwhile, some 3 million residents -- mostly Christians -- are trying to flee violence in the north.

*Original broadcast January 24, 2012. 

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CBN News
George Thomas

George Thomas

CBN News Sr. Reporter

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