Suicide bombers killed 21 people [and wounded at least 100] in attacks on three churches in Nigeria during Sunday services, exacerbating religious tensions in a West African nation that is almost evenly divided between Muslims and Christians….
It was the third Sunday in a row that deadly attacks have been carried out against Christian churches in northern Nigeria. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the latest one, but suspicion fell on the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram because it took responsibility for the two earlier weekend assaults.
Boko Haram is waging an increasingly bloody fight with security agencies and the public in Nigeria. More than 560 people have been killed in violence blamed on the sect this year alone, according to an Associated Press count….
Atrocity has, unsurprisingly, begun to lead to atrocity, though fortunately at this point at a smaller scale, and apparently just beginning (which suggests that it can more easily be stopped); the Christian Science Monitor reports:
Frustrated with the government’s inability to stop a string of such attacks in recent months, some Christians responded today with reprisals, killing at least 7 more people….
Until today, Christians living in the predominately-Muslim north have mostly resisted being provoked to violence, responding instead with calls on the government to suppress Boko Haram and reestablish security. Today’s retaliation from some Christians is raising concerns that a cycle of religious violence could start in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.