Following bombings of churches on Christmas, Nigeria declares state of emergency in northern areas
On December 31, 2011 At 1:47 pm
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Nigeria has declared a state of emergency in northern areas plagued by a deadly Islamist insurgency.
It comes a week after militants from the Boko Haram sect set off a string of explosions which killed at least 37 people and wounded dozens more. Two Christian churches where Christmas masses were being conducted were bombed.
The blasts raised fears that, Boko Haram, a movement styled on the Taliban and whose name means "Western education is forbidden," is trying to ignite sectarian strife in Africa's most populous nation and top oil producer. Nigeria's president has announced the creation of a special terrorism force. Parts of Nigeria's border with Niger, Chad and Cameroon will be closed.