Nigeria, although less well-known, is also on the “bloody border” of the struggle against radical Islam, and the Muslim population in the north of the country is becoming Talibanized. The most recent figures I have for Nigeria put its Muslim population at 50%, but that was several years ago, and Islam may well own a majority share by now. To make matters worse, the non-Muslims are not just Christians, but animists as well, so that Islam is presumably already the largest religious faith in Nigeria.
Here’s the latest from AKI:
Nigeria: Islamist Attacks Spread to Second Northern State- - - - - - - - -
Potisk, 27 July (AKI) — Islamist militants have attacked Nigerian police in two northern states, the Nigerian daily Tribune newspaper reported on Monday. So-called “Taliban” militants clashed with police in Nigeria’s Borno state after at least 200 people were killed in clashes between Islamic militants and police on Sunday in neighbouring Bauchi state.
Many other people were seriously injured in the Bauchi clashes.
The self-styled Taliban group clashed on Monday with security forces in Maiduguri, capital of neighbouring Borno State. People were also reported to be fleeing central Maiduguri.
Islamist militants in Maiduguri reportedly destroyed everything they could lay their hands on and the police station and neighbouring buildings in Maiduguri were razed to the ground, according to eyewitnesses.
Borno state government did not immediately release any casualty figures.
A curfew has been imposed in Bauchi city after Sunday’s violence.
The militants in Bauchi, popularly called ‘Boko Haram’, are said to oppose anything western including western-style education. They accuse the state government of preventing them from publicly practising their religion or seeking converts.
Islamic Sharia law is in place across northern Nigeria but there is no history of Al-Qaeda linked violence in the country. Nigeria’s 140 million people are split almost equally between Muslims and Christians and the two groups generally live peacefully side by side, despite occasional outbreaks of communal violence.
Security is said to have been beefed up in Plateau State, to the south of Bauchi, where hundreds were killed in clashes between Muslims and Christians last year.
It is not clear if Monday’s attacks in Borno were linked to Sunday’s carnage carried out in Bachi.
The Borno “Taliban” came to prominence after attacking police stations in Borno State in 2004.
Hat tip: C. Cantoni.