Sunday, January 1, 2012

Nigeria declares state of emergency

A security barrier marks the scene of a car bomb explosion at St. Theresa Catholic Church at Madalla, Suleja, just outside Nigeria's capital Abuja, December 25, 2011.

Source: Press TV

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of emergency in the areas hit by a series of deadly attacks on Christmas Day last week.

In a televised address on Saturday, Jonathan declared an indefinite state of emergency in some parts of Borno, Yobe, Niger and Plateau states, which would all allow security agencies to make arrests without evidence and conduct searches without warrants.

The president also ordered the closure of parts of the country's borders to control "cross-border terrorist activities".

The moves come nearly a week after a wave of deadly attacks struck parts of Africa's most populous nation.

Jonathan has vowed to crush the group blamed for the bloody attacks.

At least 49 people were killed and several others injured in a wave of bombings which targeted government offices and churches in Nigeria on Christmas Day.

The Boko Haram militant group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The latest blasts came following days of violent clashes between Nigerian troops and Boko Haram militants in Damaturu city which claimed the lives of least 60 people.

According to the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, ethnic and religious conflicts in Nigeria claimed the lives of over 14,000 people between 1999 and 2009.

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