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article imageNigeria: Islamic sect leader defends killings in video

By Samuel Okocha     Jan 12, 2012 in World
The leader of Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram has described the recent killings of Christians as justifiable revenge attacks. Abubakar Shekau, in a video posted on YouTube, said President Goodluck Jonathan had no power to stop the group's insurgency.
Reuters reports that the 15-minute video is the first of the sect leader to be posted online. The video also comes amidst nationwide protest against end of government's subsidy on petrol.
"Christians, everyone knows what they have done to us and Muslims ... we were attacked and we decided to defend ourselves and, because we were on the right path, Allah has made us stronger," Reuters quoted Shekau as saying in Hausa. "Jonathan, (you) know full well that this thing is beyond your powers," he added
Boko Haram, meaning "western education is sinful," wants a strict application sharia law across all northern states.
The group became widely known for its increasing violence after the sect's founder Mohammed Yusuf was killed in police custody in 2009 after an uprising led to the killing of 700 people.
"Everyone knows how our leader was murdered and everyone knows the way the Muslims were killed," Reuters quoted Shekau, the seemingly new leader of the group, as saying.
Aljazeera reports that the Islamic sect leader in his video speech warned of more attacks as he sat in front of two Kalashnikov rifles with a camouflage bullet proof jacket.
According to Reuters, the video is similar in style to messages submitted by other Islamist groups like al Qaeda, an indication that other jihadist movements are having a growing influence on the sect.
Boko Haram, based in the northeast, has claimed responsibility for most killings which, more recently, has left many Christians dead.
Crimes against humanity
United Nations has warned that Boko Haram who for months have been causing bloodshed in Ngeria's north are chargeable of crimes against humanity.
"If they are found to be responsible of the extensive or systematic attacks against civilians, among which those perpetuated on the ground of religious or ethnic reasons, the members of Boko Haram could be accused of crimes against humanity, " the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay was quoted as saying.
More about Boko Haram, Nigeria, Nigeria Islamic sect leader, Africa, goodluck
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