At Least 40 Killed in Nigeria’s Christmas Bombings

President Claims Arrests in Abuja Over Attacks

At least 40 people were killed today and scores of others were wounded when a series of bombs were detonated against Christian churches during Christmas Mass. Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attacks were not particularly shocking, as violence has been escalating in northern Nigeria, with Boko Haram launching a number of attacks over the past few weeks. President Johnathan reported at least two arrests in Abuja today in connection to the bombings, while the military claimed four arrests nationwide.

Today’s attacks with their religious undertones will likely be used to justify more US intervention in the nation, with Congress issuing a report earlier this month calling for further military aid to the US to fight Boko Haram.

The Boko Haram faction got its start as a luddite group, condemning technology and western education and arming itself with swords and bows and arrows. After the military launched several purges and massacres against them they began adopting modern terror tactics, armed with assault rifles and using explosives.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.