BAUCHI, Nigeria â€” 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…
â€œO Nations of the World, be assured that the attacks in Suldaniyya [Jos] and Borno on the eve of Christmas were carried out by us, Jamaâ€™atu Ahlus-Sunnah Liddaâ€™Awatu Wal Jihad, under the leadership of Abu Muhammad, Abubakar bin Muhammad Shekau,â€ a statement said on the groupâ€™s website.
Boko Haram â€” which in the Hausa language spoken across northern Nigeria means â€œWestern education is sinfulâ€ â€” 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 Africaâ€™s most populous nation.