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Wedding party are victims in latest Boko Haram attack

08 November 2013

by a staff reporter


Aftermath: weapons destroyed by Boko Haram raiders after an attack a fortnight ago on Damaturu, capital of Yobe state, north-east Nigeria

Aftermath: weapons destroyed by Boko Haram raiders after an attack a fortnight ago on Damaturu, capital of Yobe state, north-east Nigeria

A SUSPECTED terrorist attack on a wedding party in Nigeria killed the groom and left up to 30 other family members dead at the roadside, local officials have reported.

Gunmen from the Islamist group Boko Haram are thought to have ambushed the wedding convoy late on Saturday as it drove back after the ceremony to Maiduguri in the north-eastern state of Borno. The region is a stronghold of Boko Haram, which is fighting to create an Islamist state.

The reported number of deaths resulting from the attack was later disputed by the military authorities in the area, who put it at five.

The government has declared a state of emergency in the region after repeated terrorist attacks. But, despite the arrival of thousands of government troops, attacks have continued.

The RC Archbishop of Jos, in north-central Nigeria, the Most Revd Ignatius Kaigama, told Vatican Radio about the insecurity. "The situation in Nigeria is perplexing because at one [moment] we feel that everything is fine and done, and in another moment, you find that there is a terrible attack - brutal, uncivilised, and inhuman attack."

Archbishop Kaigama said that Christians, who make up about 50 per cent of the population, are resolute. "The Christian community is a people of hope, we do not give up easily, even under the attacks and terrible disruption of our lives."

Meanwhile, about 28 people are believed to have died in a stampede during a vigil at a packed church in eastern Nigeria, the Red Cross has reported. More than 100,000 people are thought to have gathered at the All Saints' overnight vigil at the Holy Ghost Adoration Ground in Anambra State. Survivors spoke afterwards of being so hemmed in by crowds that when people fell, they were not able to get up.

It was reported locally that the Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, attended the rally, and had tried to use the gathering for politicking, though he later denied the charge.

The Christian Association of Nigeria reacted, however, by banning all political campaigns in churches. The director, the Rt Revd Dr Emmanuel Chukwuma, said: "It's wrong to come into the church and begin to talk about manifestos and begin to campaign. It is not going to be acceptable any more because it causes commotion and disrespect to one another."

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