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Worship No Sanctuary Against Violent Extremists

Nigerian Muslims walk past an uncompleted mosque in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Extremists have attacked worshipers.

More than 90 people have been killed by extremist and criminal groups in recent weeks.

Violence has flared again in northern Nigeria, where attacks attributed to the group known as Boko Haram caused the Nigerian Government this spring to declare a State of Emergency in three states in the northeast. More than 90 people have been killed by extremist and criminal groups in recent weeks, adding to the hundreds slain in the region in the past year.

Worship No Sanctuary Against Violent Extremists
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Some of the latest attacks have targeted people attending religious services. Dozens of civilians were killed recently in the village of Demba. Earlier, 35 people were killed leaving a mosque in Maiduguri. In each instance, it is believed the victims were targeted for working with government forces to identify and capture Boko Haram members.

The United States strongly condemns the Demba killings and the attack in Maiduguri. We extend our deepest sympathies and concerns to the families of those murdered and wounded. We stand with all the people of Nigeria in rejecting the indiscriminate attacks on worshippers of all faiths. We also deplore the extra-judicial killings of suspected Boko Haram members by any group.

Groups that use violence against innocent civilians can never be considered legitimate representatives of people seeking justice or those trying to build a better future for their children.

The most populous nation in Africa, Nigeria derives enormous strength from its religious and ethnic diversity. We call on Christians and Muslims throughout the country to defend the nation’s unity by protecting vulnerable minorities within their own communities.