Radical sect escalates religious violence in Nigeria

The New York Times covered the appalling violence that an extremist Muslim sect perpetrated on Christians on Christmas.

A series of apparently coordinated bombings struck three churches during Christmas services across Nigeria on Sunday, killing more than a dozen people and solidifying a recent escalation in violence by a radical Muslim sect.

At least five bombings were reported, including three at churches and one at a state security building. The worst appeared to be at a packed Catholic church just outside the capital, Abuja, where a bomb tore through the building and killed at least 16 people as they left a morning mass.

Charred bodies littered the street and twisted cars burned in front of the church. Rescue workers struggling to cope with the chaos faced a shortage of ambulances for the dozens of wounded and an enraged crowd that initially blocked them from entering the church until soldiers arrived to restore order.

The militant sect Boko Haram, which seeks to impose Islamic law across the country, claimed responsibility for several of the bombings and was suspected in others.

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