Attacks in Nigeria Attempt to Establish Shariah Law

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Twelve people died in Nigeria after attacks on two Christian villages this weekend.

Authorities suspect Islamic extremists are behind the violence. The radical Islamic Boko Haram is waging a war to establish Shariah law in northern Nigeria.

One attack took place at a pre-wedding bachelor party. Suspected fighters from Boko Haram opened fire on the group, killing eight people. The assaults are the latest in a string of violence against Christians that began four years ago.

The leader of the group Abubakar Shekau threatened more attacks in a video.

"As for killing, we will kill because Allah says we should decapitate, we should amputate limbs, we should mutilate," he said.

Shekau made it clear Boko Haram is fighting in the name of Islam.

"They try to brainwash the people that we are fighting an ethnic war," Shekau said in the video.

"No, we are fighting a religious war, we are fighting Jonathan, we are fighting Christians," he said, referring to President Goodluck Jonathan.

The attacks, which have killed thousands, have harmed Muslims as well as Christians.

Shekau goes on to mock the U.S. and Nigerian governments for placing bounties on his head - a reward of $7 million by the United States and $312,500 by the Nigerian government.

"We do not worship money," he said. "You can't in any way harm me."

Shekau also boasted of a Dec. 20 attack on a tank battalion barracks at Bama. He has denounced democracy and said that only the law of Islam can purify Nigeria.

The fighting has posed serious threats to oil production in the country. Literacy rates are continuing to fall across the country as frightened parents are keeping their children at home.

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