Sunday 22 October 2017

Nigeria deaths mount amid revenge attacks

People gather outside a church following a blast in Kaduna, Nigeria. Photo: AP
People gather outside a church following a blast in Kaduna, Nigeria. Photo: AP

A series of church bombings has sparked reprisal killings in northern Nigeria taking the death toll to at least 50 people.

A radical Islamist sect claimed responsibility for Sunday's suicide attacks at churches in Zaria and another in Kaduna that left 21 people dead, according to an initial count.

The reprisals highlight festering religious tensions in Nigeria, a nation of more than 160 million people. Officials initially said 21 people were killed in Sunday morning's blasts. But the Red Cross said later that the death toll had jumped to 50, to include reprisal killings.

Officials refused to give a breakdown clarifying who died.

Authorities fear that a breakdown of the deaths will trigger revenge killings. Most of the victims killed in church are presumed to be Christian and most of those killed in reprisal attacks are presumed to be Muslim.

Irish Independent

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