Friday, September 16, 2011

4 Suspects Face Trial in Suicide Bombing in Abuja That Killed 25

Nigerian prosecutors on Friday (September 16) charged four men of organizing a suicide bombing at United Nations headquarters in Abuja that killed 25 people. and injured 116 others. The defendants could face the death penalty.

The suspects are also members of a radical Muslim extremist group known as Boko Haram, which means "Western education is sacrilege," in the local Hausa language. The group has also assassinated local officials and bombed locations around Nigeria in the last year as it continues its campaign for the strict adherence to Shariah law nationwide.

COMMENT: Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attack on the UN headquarters building. In charging documents, prosecutors said Abdusalami Adamu, Danzumi Haruna, Salisu Mohammed and Musa Mukailu ordered a suicide bomber driving a Honda sport utility vehicle to attack the UN complex.

The defendants were not asked to render a plea, as the case will be transferred to Nigeria's Federal High Court system. The suspects were ordered held until a court appearance on November 3.

Nigeria, a nation of 150 million people, is split largely between a Christian south and a Muslim north. Unemployment and unceasing poverty, coming despite the nation making billions a year from oil production, have fueled resentment in recent years in the north. Boko Haram and other extremist groups have tapped into that unrest.

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