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Twin Bomb Blasts Kill 118 People in Nigeria

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Boko Haram In Attack Mode

Another terorism-related attacks left scores of people dead in the Nigerian city of Jos.

Reports say 118 people were killed Tuesday in a pair of bombings at a bus terminal and a market in the busy central Nigerian town of Jos.

Two vehicle bombs were detonated within half an hour, resulting in mass destruction and human casualties.

The first blast took place in the bus terminal, killing about 10 people. However, scores more died in the explosion in the busy market.

Nigeran Police said the explosives were hidden in a small bus and a car.

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Children at school in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Jos has beenplagued by sectarian violence where the city is situated at the crossroads between the Muslim north and the dominantly crowded Christian south.

The Attacks Point To Boko Haram

Although there were no claims that the attacks were perpetrated by the Boko Haram, suspicion stirs headlines that it was likely to be directed by the Islamist militia Boko Haram. The extremist group has been under international scrutiny for holding the kidnapped schoolgirls since last month.

The recent surge of deadly attacks raised fears that the terrorist group is expanding its area of operation and on rampage to bring terror in the African country.

Boko Haram Causes Instability In Nigeria

Boko Haram's ideology opposes Western culture and education. The group seeks to overthrow the Nigerian state and replace it with a regime enforcing strict shari'a law.

In addition, Boko Haram has exploited religious rhetoric in an attempt to justify its violence, casting the state as hopelessly corrupt and un-Islamic.

Boko Haram's activities call attention not just to violence, but also to poverty and inequality in Nigeria.

US Holistic Approach To Countering The Threats of Boko Haram

The United States is committed to helping the Nigerian Government and people counter the threat posed by Boko Haram and associated violent extremist groups.

In recent years, the US government has worked to help isolate Boko Haram's leaders.

In June 2012, the State Department designated Boko Haram's top commanders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224. In June 2013, the State Department added Abubakar Shekau, Boko Haram's official leader, to US Rewards for Justice Program and offered up to $7 million for information leading to his location.

Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224.

In addition, the United States has recently taken steps to counter the threat posed by Boko Haram and Ansaru.

The State Department designated both as Foreign Terrorist Organizations under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and as Specially Designated Global Terrorists under section 1(b) of Executive Order 13224.

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Map of Nigeria showing Jos, Abuja (the capital) and Lagos, the largest city in Africa.

Nigeria is the 22nd fastest-growing economy in the world, the 13th largest supplier of oil to the global market, and the second largest destination for U.S. private investment in Africa.

Abuja, the capital of Nigeria is located in the center of the country, and the port city of Lagos, the largest city in Africa, with a population of around 22 million, is on the south western coast.

The significant mutual interests both US and Nigeria share have led the two countries to build a robust bilateral relationship.

Sectarian Violence Escalates in Nigeria

Earlier in 2012, spiralling violence escalated in Nigeria as Boko Haram group unleashed a series of attacks.

Boko Haram is a local terrorist group professing allegiance to Al Qaeda. Boko Haram militants attacked several churches on Christmas Day, killing dozens of worshippers. The bombings occurred in Madala, on the outskirts of Abuja, the Nigerian capital, and in the north-eastern city of Jos.

The United Nations human rights chief, Navi Pillay, urged a bold effort by Nigeria's political and religious leaders to halt the spiralling sectarian violence.

Boko Haram, which aims to install strict Shariah, or Islamic
law across Nigeria, has vowed to keep killing Christians in the multiethnic country.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze.

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