Nigeria's Boko Haram takes credit for Sunday attacks on Christians
The Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram says its men killed dozens of Christians near the town of Jos and warned Christians to 'embrace Islam or they will be attacked.'
In a press release written in local dialect of Hausa and signed by Boko Haram leader Abul Qaqa, the sect said, "We thank God for our success in the attack on Christians at Barikin Ladi and Riyom, whereby security agents, Christians and two state and national assembly members were killed."
The statement continued with a warning: "We are also informing Christians all over the country to embrace Islam or they will be attacked. If they fail to do so, there is nobody to blame but themselves."
"More attacks will be carried out as we have successfully done at Plateau and Kano on Christians and security informers. … Kano people must desist from giving information to security agents who are attacking them and their hired houses in Kano."
The statement comes after weekend attacks and reprisals between the mainly Muslim Fulani herdsmen and mainly Christian Birom people in the villages around the central Nigerian city of Jos. Initial news reports indicated that the fighting was due to disputes over land, with government officials evicting the Fulani tribesmen from certain pastures around Jos, and with Fulani herdsmen taking out their anger on Birom Christians' homes and churches. Two Nigerian officials, a senator and an assemblyman, were killed while attending a Saturday mass funeral of 63 Birom church members. Birom reprisals raised the weekend death toll to 200.