MEMBERS of the Nigerian military killed 35 members of the
militant Islamist group Boko Haram on Sunday night, shortly after a
suicide-bomb attack at a Roman Catholic church in Bauchi State.
A Nigerian military spokesman told Reuters on Monday that
the operation against Boko Haram had been carried out by
Joint Task Force troops during Sunday night and Monday morning.
Earlier on Sunday, two people were killed in an attack by a
suicide bomber at St John's, in the Bayan Gari area of Bauchi Town.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said that it was the second
attack in Bauchi Town in the space of a week: the Sunday before
last, at least five people were killed, and four later died in
hospital, after gunmen fired at a building in the Zongo area of
A statement from CSW quoted the Bishop of Bauchi, the Rt Revd
Musa Tula, as saying: "Unfortunately, this is an ongoing situation
in Bauchi State. Christians are attacked on a weekly basis. We need
prayers, because real protection can come only from God. We
urgently need prayers from our brethren around the world for the
peace of Bauchi State."
The chief executive of CSW, Mervyn Thomas, said that it was
"regrettable that Christian communities in Bauchi remain
extremely vulnerable and are in urgent need of effective
protection. We urge the state government to implement
comprehensive, long-term security arrangements to guarantee the
safety of innocent civilians, and halt these attacks, which are now
occurring with alarming regularity."
It was reported in The Guardian on Wednesday, however, that
senior political and military figures in Nigeria were pessimistic
about the government's ability to prevent attacks by Boko Haram.
"The situation is not remotely under control," a Nigerian senior
official said. "It is just a matter of time before we see more
The editor of the newspaper Daily Trust, Manir Dan Ali, said
that the government "lacks a coherent strategy for dealing with the
problem and its underlying causes of poverty, neglect, and a lack
of opportunities for the young".
Earlier this month, the Archbishop of Jos, Dr Benjamin Kwashi,
said that the sectarian violence conducted by Boko Haram was
"specifically against Christians", and not primarily because of
"political marginalisation" (News,
The Nigeria Inter-Religious Council has called on Muslims to
fast and hold special prayers today, and for Christians to do the
same on Sunday.