Islamist group claims responsibility for Nigerian bombings

BAUCHI, Nigeria — The radical Islamist sect Boko Haram said on Tuesday it was behind the Christmas holiday bombings in central Nigeria and attacks on churches in the northeast of the country in which at least 86 people died.

Police said 80 people were killed in Christmas Eve bomb attacks…

“O Nations of the World, be assured that the attacks in Suldaniyya [Jos] and Borno on the eve of Christmas were carried out by us, Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awatu Wal Jihad, under the leadership of Abu Muhammad, Abubakar bin Muhammad Shekau,” a statement said on the group’s website.

Boko Haram — which in the Hausa language spoken across northern Nigeria means “Western education is sinful” — is loosely modelled on the Taliban movement in Afghanistan.

It became active in around 2003 and is primarily concentrated in the northern states of Yobe, Kano, Bauchi, Borno and Kaduno.

The group considers anyone not following its strict ideology, whether Christian or Muslim, as infidels. Its followers wear long beards and red or black headscarves. It wants sharia law more widely applied across Africa’s most populous nation.

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