On Monday we reported on an attack in Nigeria where the Islamic militant group Boko Haram slaughtered over 200 young students on their way to school. Boko Haram is loosely affiliated with the resurging Al Qaeda and must be giving our terrorist enemies reason to hope. Boko Haram is growing ever bolder in their attacks, and just days after murdering those many innocent students, they proved it.
Early Monday morning, while we were reporting on their weekend attack in North Eastern Nigeria, Boko Haram was carrying out a cowardly attack on Nigeria’s capital city.
An immense explosion tore through a bus station early Monday as commuters gathered on their way to work. The explosion was notable, not just for its deadliness, but also because it is one of the first evidences of the war against Islamic terrorism in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria. Abuja has remained relatively safe from the violent clutches of Boko Haram since the group began waging their “holy war” against the government and people of Nigeria. Sadly, Abuja’s innocence is now gone and Boko Haram has claimed at least 71 new victims.
The blast destroyed 16 luxury buses and 24 minibuses and cars, said police spokesman Frank Mba, who gave the death toll.
Survivors screamed in anguish and the stench of burning fuel and flesh hung over the site where billows of black smoke rose as firefighters worked to put out the fires. Reporters saw rescue workers and police gathering body parts as ambulances rushed the wounded to the hospitals. State television has broadcast calls for blood donations.
Security personnel battled to belatedly cordon off the area as a bomb detonation team was combing it for secondary explosives, a common occurrence here. Thousands of bystanders gathered, ignoring warnings to stay away. While violence has torn the northeast where Boko Haram has killed thousands, the capital in the middle of Africa’s most populous country has been relatively peaceful.
Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, visited the scene and offered what consolation he could to the scared and hurting people.
“The issue of Boko Haram is quite an ugly history within this period of our own development,” said Jonathan. “Government is doing everything to make sure that we move our country forward … But the issue of Boko Haram is temporary. Surely, we will get over it.”
I hope that President Jonathan is right and that Boko Haram’s reign of terror is short lived, but I am pessimistic about this. The world is beginning to understand the pervasive nature of Islamic “extremism,” but only because we are now all well aware of the suffering it brings.
This story isn’t new! Islam has been “extreme” since its inception.
People all over the world have been fighting against Islamic extremism since Mohammed first conquered Mecca in 630 AD. The difference is that the limited technology on our planet didn’t allow us to share in each other’s grief’s… times and technology have changed… Islam has not. Now, it’s not just the people of the Western Asia, North Africa and Southern Europe who are affected by Islam’s “extremism.” Islamic Extremism touches every part of the globe. We are united by Islam’s persecution of us, the non-converted.
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