Northern Nigeria has been wracked by religious violence in recent weeks, including a spate of attacks in early January that killed at least 25 Christians. In December, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathon declared a state of emergency in four northern states following a series of Christmas Day attacks on Christian churches blamed on the Islamist group, Boko Haram.
On Saturday, Nigeria imposed a 24-hour curfew in the northern city of Kano after assailants killed scores of people and wounded others in a hail of gunfire and coordinated bombings of eight government sites. CNN reports at least 156 people were dead and the number would rise.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility and the government has once again put in place a state of emergency, and a large deployment of troops has been sent to the north of the country.
Terrified residents barricaded themselves in their homes, said Rev. Murtala Mati of the Christian Association of Nigeria. “The government is really trying but we are afraid…we are all scared,” he said.
Boko Haram has been blamed for months of widespread bloodshed, with churches and police stations among the targets
“Scores dead as assailants target northern Nigerian city.” CNN, 21 January 2012.