Boko Haram

Chad executes 10 Boko Haram members 1 day after verdict

Chad executed by firing squad 10 members of Boko Haram on Saturday, the security minister said, marking the 1st use of the death penalty since the country bolstered its anti-terror measures last month.
The 10 men were sentenced to death on Friday after being convicted of crimes including murder and the use of explosives.
They were killed at around 11 a.m., Ahmat Mahamat Bachir, the security minister, said Saturday.
Those killed included Bahna Fanaye, alias Mahamat Moustapha, who Chadian officials have described as a leader of the Nigeria-based group.
Chad has vowed to take a leading role in a regional force to fight Boko Haram that is also expected to include soldiers from Cameroon, Benin and Niger in addition to Nigeria. Boko Haram has targeted Nigeria’s neighbors in regular attacks this year.
In June and July Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, was rocked by a series of suicide attacks that killed dozens of people – the 1st such attacks since Boko Haram threatened the country earlier this year.
In 1 attack, suicide bombers on motorcycles targeted 2 buildings in the capital. In another, a man disguised as a woman wearing a burqa detonated a bomb outside the city’s main market.
Last September, Chad drew praise from rights groups for a draft penal code that abolished capital punishment.
The International Federation for Human Rights said at the time that the country had observed a moratorium on the death penalty since 1991 with the exception of 9 executions that took place in November 2003. But anti-terror measures approved by lawmakers last month in response to the recent attacks brought the death penalty back.
Source: Associated Press, August 30, 2015

 

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Deaths in Nigeria attacks on churches

June 10, 2012 Source : http://www.aljazeera.com

Dozens of people are feared dead and injured after two separate attacks on churches in Nigeria during Sunday service, the government said.

A suicide bomber blew himself up near a church in the central city of Jos on Sunday, while gunmen attacked another church in Biu in the country’s northeast.

Armed Islamist sect Boko Haram later claimed responsibility for both attacks, a purported spokesman for the group said.

Nigerian government spokesman Pam Ayuba said a bomb exploded near an evangelical church in Jos, a restive city on the dividing line between the nation’s Muslim north and Christian south, causing casualties.

“The suicide bomber attempted to drive into the Christ Chosen Church in the Jos metropolis,” Al Jazeera’s Yvonne Ndgee reported from Lagos on Sunday.

“The chief of police has spoken to the local press there [in Jos], and he says that three persons have been killed in this attack. One of them, the suicide bomber, and two others died in unclear circumstances.”

Our correspondent said the two others died after chaos and violence broke out following the blast, with people angry that the authorities were not doing enough to protect them.

“Police have announced that 48 people have been taken to various hospitals in the Jos metropolis with varying degrees of injuries,” Ndege said.

Earlier attack

Earlier, in Biu, a city in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, gunmen opened fire during a service at an EYN church, an acronym that means “Church of the Brethen in Nigeria” in the local Hausa language of Nigeria’s north, witnesses said.

“Before the Jos attack, we know that gunmen burst into a church in the town of Biu just outside of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. These gunmen opened fire on members of a church who were worshipping,” our correspondent said.

Gunmen sprayed the congregation with bullets, killing and wounding many of them, witnesses said.

“Three gunmen came to the premises of the church and started firing at people outside the church before going into the main building to carry on their killings … Many people have been killed and wounded,” said witness Hamidu Wakawa, who was at the church in Biu Town.

Borno state police commissioner Bala Hassan confirmed the attack took place and said officers were investigating.

“The picture is very sketchy from there because it is so remote. It’s not clear at this stage how many people may have been killed in this attack. Eyewitnesses on the ground say people have died, but the police on the ground have not come out with a statement yet,” Ndege said.

Speaking to journalists on a conference call on Sunday night, a purported spokesman for Boko Haram – an armed group that seeks to impose Islamic law in Nigeria – claimed both attacks.

“We are responsible for the suicide attack on a church in Jos and also another attack on another church in Biu,” the spokesman calling himself Abul Qaqa said.

“We launched these attacks to prove the Nigerian security wrong and to debunk their claim that we have been weakened by the military crackdown.”

Attacking churches has become a trademark tactic of Boko Haram, which has linked up with other Islamist groups in the region including al-Qaeda’s North African wing.

The group has become the biggest security threat in Nigeria. It usually targets security forces, although Christian worshippers are increasingly bearing the brunt of attacks.