December 28, 2010 / 3:10 PM / 9 years ago

Suspected Islamic sect says behind Nigeria attacks

BAUCHI, Nigeria (Reuters) - A radical Islamist sect said on Tuesday it was behind bombings in central Nigeria and attacks on churches in the northeast of the country that led to the deaths of at least 86 people.

At least 80 people were killed in Christmas Eve bombings and clashes two days later between Muslim and Christian youths around central Nigerian city of Jos.

In a separate incident, six people were killed when petrol bombs were thrown late on Friday at a churches in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, in Borno state.

“O Nations of the World, be informed that verily the attacks in Suldaniyya (Jos) and Borno on the eve of Christmas was carried out by us Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awatu Wal Jihad, under the leadership of Abu Muhammad, Abubakar bin Muhammad Shekau,” a statement said on its website.

The radical Islamic group Boko Haram have previously used the name Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awatu Wal Jihad.

Boko Haram, which wants Islamic sharia law more widely applied across Africa’s most populous nation, staged an uprising in Maiduguri last year which led to clashes with security forces in which as many as 800 people were killed.

Reporting by Abdulwahab Muhammad; writing by Joe Brock; editing by Angus MacSwan

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