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
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
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."