Death Toll of Christmas Attacks in Nigeria Rises to 42

Gunmen killed two civilians in a northeast
Nigeria town plagued by attacks from a radical Muslim sect, an official
said Friday, as a hospital official said one more person died from
Christmas attacks blamed on the sect, raising the toll to 42.

Military spokesman Lt.
Col. Hassan Ifijeh Mohammed told The Associated Press that the attack
occurred after Friday afternoon prayers in a market near a mosque in the
city of Maiduguri. Mohammed said the gunmen wounded a third person.

said authorities believe the incident could either be a robbery attempt
or another attack by a feared radical sect known as Boko Haram which
has carried out a series of attacks and assassinations in the area.

on Friday, a hospital official said one more person died of injuries
after a Christmas Day blast that struck St. Theresa Catholic Church near
Nigeria’s capital, bringing the death toll from Christmas attacks to

The official, who asked not to be named
because he is not permitted to speak to the press, said the victim died
late Thursday after Sunday’s blast outside the church.

A spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency reported 37 deaths as of Thursday evening in the blast near Abuja.

more people were killed in other Christmas violence blamed on a radical
Muslim sect that wants to impose Shariah law in Africa’s most populous

The Boko Haram sect claimed
responsibility for the coordinated Christmas Day attacks launched across
Africa’s most populous nation.


Associated Press writer Lekan Oyekanmi contributed to this report from Abuja