Radical Sect in Nigeria Kills More Than 100

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Boko Haram, which seeks to institute strict Islamic law in Nigeria, attacked civilians and police in coordinated attacks in the city of Damaturu beginning on Friday.

Officials told Reuters they are hunting for the culprits, who set off bombs in the city and gunned down other targets, including police officials, as the city conducted celebrations of the Muslim holiday of Eid.

The Boko Haram Islamist sect claimed responsibility for multiple gun and bomb attacks in the city of Damaturu on Friday evening that left bodies littering the streets and police stations, churches and mosques reduced to smouldering rubble.

"We are ready for them, we are going to comb every place in the state to until we find and deal with them. Our men are ready," the police commissioner for Yobe state, of which Damaturu is the capital, told Reuters.

The assurances come as members of the public urged the government, led by President Goodluck Jonathan, to exercise greater control and provide security to residents.

The Associated Press reports that the attacks killed more than 100 people, and that Boko Haram has killed 361 people in Nigeria this year in its quest to institute Sharia in the country.

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attacks Friday, which included suicide bombings and shootings.

Boko Haram wants to implement strict Shariah law across Nigeria, an oil-rich nation of more than 160 million which has a predominantly Christian south and a Muslim north. Its name means "Western education is sacrilege" in the local Hausa language, but instead of schooling, it rejects Western ideals like Nigeria's U.S.-styled democracy that followers believe have destroyed the country with corrupt politicians.

Boko Haram's attacks occurred ahead of Sunday's Eid al-Adha celebration, or the feast of sacrifice, when Muslims around the world slaughter sheep and cattle in remembrance of Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son. Police elsewhere in the country had warned of violence ahead of the celebration in Nigeria.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.