JOS, Nigeria (BP) — Twin explosions rocked the Nigerian city of Jos and left dozens dead or severely injured, according to the BBC and Associated Press.
The attacks have been tied to the terrorist group Boko Haram, who had also been connected to a string of terrorist attacks throughout Nigeria in which as many as 300 people were killed earlier in the week.
The first blast hit a shopping complex on Sunday (July 5) near the University of Jos while the second blast targeted the Yan Taya Mosque just minutes later, according to a report from a pastor in Jos relayed to Adeniyi Ojutiku, a Nigerian who lives in Raleigh, N.C., and leads the Lift Up Now organization to meet political, economic and social challenges in his homeland.
The explosion at the mosque, according to the information Ojutiku received from the pastor in Jos, has widely been reported as direct retaliation against Sheikh Sani Yahaya, who has encouraged Muslims to coexist peacefully with those who hold other religious beliefs.
Also Sunday, a suicide bomber killed five worshippers at a church in Nigeria’s northeastern Yobe state.
Despite many political promises and military endeavors by the Nigerian government, Ojutiku said Boko Haram’s recent attacks show that not enough is being done to counter the terrorist group.
Ojutiku expressed disappointment in the Nigerian government’s response to Boko Haram, but he also voiced a need for a global response to the violence.
“The region has been left to deal with the issues … but now [Boko Haram] has become part of the [ISIS] terror network,” he noted. “And therefore it is important that this strategy to combat Boko Haram be globalized both in terms of the foreign policies of Western countries and also of Christians. Christians globally are not showing enough concern about what is happening to other Christians, especially in Nigeria.”
Ojutiku suggested that Christians view Boko Haram in the same light as ISIS both in terms of physical and spiritual danger to the Christian community. Pointing out that Boko Haram ties itself to ISIS and wishes to establish an Islamic caliphate, Ojutiku warned that Boko Haram will stop at nothing to reach its goal.
The actions of Boko Haram garnered global attention when the radicals took 276 girls hostage in April 2014. International outrage followed, but a majority of the girls remain in captivity where, according to an account by one escapee to CNN, they are raped and sometimes forced to carry out acts of violence against other captives.