You are posting a comment about...
Hundreds of residents flee Nigerian cities in fear of more violence
From The Telegraph
Hundreds of residents in two restive northern Nigerian cities have fled their homes, fearing more violence after a series of bombs swept the country, killing 40 people. Damaturu, which was struck by two blasts on Sunday, killing three, has been at the centre of clashes between Islamists and authorities in recent days, and saw groups gathered at bus and taxi stations looking to leave.
Meanwhile in Potiskum, residents fled after arsonists set alight 30 Christian-owned shops as well as the home of a Christian leader, on Sunday night in what appeared to be the continuation of religious violence that peaked with the bombing of churches on Christmas Day. "I can't stay here any longer," a man waiting at a bus stop in Potiskum told the Reuters news agency. "It's peaceful today, but it's no guarantee that in the next hours it will remain the same,"
Marilyn Ogar, a spokesman for the State Security Services would not confirm the number of arrests made in connection with the incidents, citing the sensitivity of the ongoing investigations. But she told the Daily Telegraph that police are "arresting as many people as possible" for questioning.
The Islamist group Boko Haram, which has ties to al-Qaeda and aims to impose sharia law across Africa's most populous country, claimed responsibility for the attacks. Nigeria's population is 167 (million), with just over 50 per cent Muslim, and 48 per cent Christian.
It is the second Christmas in a row that it has targeted churches with deadly results, leading to fears that it could set off a new round of sectarian clashes. "The attack on churches is to nationalise the crisis," said Shehu Sani, a rights activist based in Nigeria's north. "It will instigate hitherto neutral people into the crisis. Christians may want to take revenge on Muslims and this is dangerous for the country."