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A militant Islamist group has claimed responsibility for a series of co-ordinated attacks on Christmas Day services at churches in Nigeria, one of which killed at least 35 people.
The first and deadliest attack occurred near a Catholic church in Madala on the outskirts of the capital, Abuja, during morning prayers."We were in the church with my family when we heard the explosion. I just ran out. Now I don't even know where my children or my wife are," said a witness, Timothy Onyekwere. "I don't know how many were killed but there were many dead."
The freelance journalist Alkasim Abdulkadir, who was at the scene just after the blast – suspected to be caused by a car bomb – said that he had seen a car filled with the bodies of a dead family who had perished together in the blast.
"There was a car filled with dead bodies. Apparently it was a family coming to worship in the church," he saidNote: Boko Haram is an islamic militant group similar in belief and tactics as the taleban and want to impose sharia law on a country where half the population is christian.Rights groups say more than 250 people have been killed by Boko Haram since July 2010. The attack on the UN building in Abuja was the first known suicide bombing in Nigeria. It marked an escalation in the group's tactics and revealed an increase in the sophistication of explosives it uses
It appears to be a part of the wider spread unrest between the christian and muslim population that has been going on for some while.