January 13, 2012
The leader of Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamist militants has defended recent attacks on Christians, saying they were revenge for killings of Muslims, International Christian Concern reports. In a video message posted on YouTube, Abubakar Shekau referred to attacks on Muslims in recent years in several areas in northern Nigeria -- mostly isolated incidents that resulted from a series of religious clashes. "We are ... at war with Christians because the whole world knows what they did to us," he said. He also warned Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan that Nigeria's security forces would not be able to defeat Boko Haram. Jonathan, a Christian, has declared a state of emergency in some northern states, but the attacks have continued. Christian Association of Nigeria leader Ayo Oritsejafor said his members would protect themselves against the attacks, which he said suggested "systematic ethnic and religious cleansing."