NIGERIA: Two Christian politicians among over 100 killed in weekend violence

The government of Plateau State, central Nigeria, placed four local government areas under curfew on Monday 9 July following a gun attack that left two prominent politicians dead.

Senator for Plateau State North Gyang Datong and Majority Leader in the Plateau State House of Assembly Gyang Fulani, both believed to be Christians, died during an attack on the mass burial of victims of armed raids on Christian villages the previous day.

NIGERIA: Bomb blast at church kills at least 10

A suicide bomber crashed through the gate of a church compound in the northern Nigerian city of Bauchi on 3 June 2012, killing himself and at least 10 others and leaving more than 30 injured.

The bomb was detonated at the gate of Living Faith church as members were leaving an early morning worship service. The explosion also brought down a wall of the adjacent Harvest Field church.

WHAT IS BOKO HARAM?

Boko Haram was formed in 2002 by Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf in Maiduguri, capital of the north-eastern Nigerian state of Borno. Originally formed to fight against government corruption and economic disparities between the north and the richer south, its aim now is to overthrow the government, create an Islamic state and impose strict sharia law. Borno, where Boko Haram has its base, is one of twelve northern states in which sharia is already in force. Christians are supposed to be exempt, but are often forced to comply.

NIGERIA: More deadly attacks on churches

Two church members died and 37 were injured on Sunday 26 February when a suicide bomber drove a car laden with bombs into the worship service of a Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) congregation in Jos, the capital city of Plateau state in central Nigeria. A man claiming to be a spokesman for Boko Haram reportedly claimed responsibility for the blast.