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Boko Haram Suspected in Church Attacks That Kill 30 in Nigeria

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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

June 29 (Bloomberg) -- 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gbenga Akingbule in Maiduguri at gakingbule@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net Alex Devine, Kristen Hallam

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