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Boko Haram - 2011

Boko Haram perpetrated killings and bomb attacks throughout the country during 2011. The sect continued to mount regular assaults and bombings in Borno and Bauchi states. The sect claimed responsibility for the January 1 bombing of the Mogadishu Barracks in Abuja, the July 16 suicide bombing of the police headquarters in Abuja, and the August 26 suicide bombing of the UN headquarters in Abuja. By the end of the year, the government and Boko Haram had not engaged in dialogue.

The JTF was linked to numerous killings in Maiduguri Borno State after attacks by Boko Haram. On July 14, in one of the largest such incidents, the JTF allegedly killed 20 to 40 persons following a Boko Haram bombing.

In 2011 Boko Haram committed drive-by shootings and bombings; targeted killings of security personnel, religious leaders, and political figures; coordinated attacks on police stations and banks; and conducted suicide bombings during the year, which resulted in the death of hundreds of persons. For example, on June 16, a car bomb that detonated in the parking lot of the National Police Force Headquarters killed at least three persons and destroyed or damaged at least 50 vehicles. Boko Haram claimed responsibility.

On August 26, a suicide bomber attacked the UN House compound in Abuja, killing 24 persons and injuring more than 120 others, primarily Nigerian citizens. Boko Haram claimed responsibility. On November 4, Boko Haram launched a series of bomb attacks and coordinated assaults in Damaturu and Potiskum, Yobe State, and Maiduguri, Borno State. The bombs and subsequent gun battles with security forces resulted in the death of 100 to 200 police officers, Boko Haram fighters, and bystanders, as well as the destruction of the Yobe police headquarters and six churches.

The group claimed responsibility for several of the attacks, including a Christmas Day 2011 bombing of a church near Abuja that killed more than 30 people. On December 25, a car bomb that detonated at the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madella, outside of Abuja, killed at least 37 persons and wounded another 50 to 60. Boko Haram claimed responsibility.

The group wants wider implementation of sharia, or Islamic law, across Nigeria. It warned Christians in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria to leave the area. The group also called on Muslims living in southern Nigeria to return, saying it has evidence they will be attacked. In response to the violence, President Goodluck Jonathan recently declared a state of emergency in 15 areas. The president also deployed extra troops to the north, but attacks have continued.

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Page last modified: 20-08-2014 19:45:32 ZULU