In what can only be called cowardly attacks innocent people were killed and others injured. The current death toll stands at around 39 but it could yet rise. Injuries sustained mean that more loss of life is inevitable.
Today, December 26, 2011, some within Niger have been verbally blasting the country's officials. The authorities have been slow to condemn the group responsible, Bokum Harem. It may be Christmas but other countries such as the US have already expressed concern and condolences whilst the Nigerian regime has remained tight lipped.
Even the Pope has spoken out. Speaking today, Boxing Day, Pope Benedict condemned the attacks as an "absurd gesture" and prayed that "the hands of the violent be stopped." Yes we all hope for that. The UK has also expressed its concerns.
Christmas 2010 saw Boko Haram, the Islamist sect, launch bomb attacks. In 2011 they have done the same apparently trying to cause a divide between the country's muslim and christian populations. The sect wants to impose sharia law across Africa's most populous country, Niger. Currently both communities live side by side in reasonable harmony.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for three church bombings, and has been blaimed for two more. The attacks followed clashes between the group and the authorities which killed 68 people.
Pastor Rev. Fr. Isaac Achi spoke of the attack on one church saying:
"One of the victims was found on the roof of the church while several dead bodies were littered in gutters and other parts of the premises. The victims have been moved to different hospitals but at St. Lucas hospital, nine of my parishioners were recorded dead. At Diamond Hospital, a little baby of 5 years who was injured could not locate his parents.”
Sad news indeed. RIP and sincere condolences.