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Boko Haram Suspected in Church Attacks That Kill 30 in Nigeria

Nigeria Bombing
Nigerian security officials cordon off the site of a blast in Abuja, Nigeria, on June 25, 2014. Photographer: Tersoo Gundu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

At least 30 people were killed after suspected Boko Haram extremists attacked churches today near Chibok in Nigeria’s northeast Borno state where more than 200 schoolgirls were abducted, a vigilante group leader said.

The Islamist militants attacked several churches in the northeastern villages of Kwada and Kautikari in the Chibok district, Abba Aji Khalil, chairman of a vigilante group in Borno state, said in a phone interview today.

“At least 30 persons were killed when suspected Boko Haram members attacked churches in Chibok today,” Khalil said.

Nigerian security forces are struggling to contain a campaign of violence by Boko Haram, which is fighting to impose Islamic law on Africa’s most populous nation. At least 21 people died in a June 25 blast at a busy shopping mall in Abuja, the capital. An explosion at a bus park in the city killed at least 75 people on April 14, the same day the schoolgirls were kidnapped in Borno state.

Nigeria, a country of about 170 million people with Africa’s biggest economy, is divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south. President Goodluck Jonathan has said Boko Haram is part of al-Qaeda and poses a threat to countries throughout the region. His government has been criticized for its failure to rescue the kidnapped girls.

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