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Nigeria Islamist group Boko Haram blamed for escalating violence

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Nema/AFP Photo/Newscom

(Read caption) A policeman looks at a damaged vehicle after a bomb blast at the parking lot of police headquarters in Abuja on June 16. The bomb killed two people and damaged several vehicles. Nigerian police suspect the radical Islamic sect Boko Haram to be behind the "suicide" bombing. The Islamist Boko Haram sect on June 15 threatened "fiercer" attacks and said it would not enter into talks with the government, which it had earlier proposed.

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At least 25 Nigerians were killed Sunday night when motorcyclists threw bombs into outdoor beer gardens in the northeastern city of Maiduguri (see map). No group has claimed responsibility yet, but local police say the attack bore the hallmark of the Islamist group Boko Haram.

The attack underscores a deterioration of security in Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north – particularly since President Goodluck Jonathan, who comes from the mainly Christian south, was inaugurated on May 29. Boko Haram is fighting for the implemention of sharia (Islamic law), including a ban on alcohol, and has demanded an Islamic state.


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