Police and aid workers report at least 39 people have been killed in the Kaduna State of Nigeria today, after an apparent series of church bombings by Boko Haram and a series of anti-Muslim riots among the Christians whose churches were attacked.
Attacks on churches are a near-weekly incident in this part of Nigeria, split roughly down the middle between Muslims and Christians. Today three churches were hit, with 19 killed in the bombings and dozens of others wounded.
After the bombings a group of Christian youths started attacking random Muslims in the surrounding area, dragging them from their cars. The Red Cross said at least 20 bodies had been found, killed by rioters, and that most were “burned beyond recognition.”
Boko Haram has been focusing on Kaduna because while most of the nation is dominated by Christians or Muslims, it is the one area where they are roughly split, and a potentially fertile ground for recruitment if tensions can be sufficiently fueled.