Nigeria Islamist group Boko Haram blamed for escalating violence
Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram is suspected in Sunday's deadly attacks on beer gardens, the latest since the inauguration of a Christian president May 29.
• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.Skip to next paragraph
Israeli general hints at another Gaza campaign
Unclaimed attack on Islamic school raises tension in Nigeria
See no evil? Activists doubt credibility of Arab League mission to Syria.
Arab League observers head to Syria's war-ravaged Homs
Christmas church bombings put global spotlight on 'Nigerian Taliban' (VIDEO)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
At least 25 Nigerians were killed Sunday night when motorcyclists threw bombs into outdoor beer gardens in the northeastern city of Maiduguri (see map). No group has claimed responsibility yet, but local police say the attack bore the hallmark of the Islamist group Boko Haram.
The attack underscores a deterioration of security in Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north – particularly since President Goodluck Jonathan, who comes from the mainly Christian south, was inaugurated on May 29. Boko Haram is fighting for the implemention of sharia (Islamic law), including a ban on alcohol, and has demanded an Islamic state.
The Islamist group, which came to prominence in 2009 and is now considered the greatest threat to Nigeria's security, launched coordinated bombings in three towns after Mr. Jonathan's inauguration. It also claimed responsibility for a June 16 attack on federal police headquarters in Abuja, the capital, and has attacked clerics, politicians, and soldiers, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports. According to Reuters, attacks now occur almost daily in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
Borno State is already governed by sharia, as are 11 other northern states out of Nigeria's 36 total states. However, even in those mainly Muslim states, establishments like the beer gardens are thriving out of the public eye, the Associated Press reports.