Christmas Bombings Spark Unrest in Nigeria
Some fear escalating violence ahead of elections
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 27, 2010 1:49 PM CST
In this image made from video provided NTA via APTN, taken Saturday, Dec. 25, 2010, a burned out van is seen on a road following violence in Jos, Nigeria.   (AP Photo/NTA via APTN)
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(Newser) – State police are swarming into central Nigeria following a series of Christmas church bombings that killed 38, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Following Saturday's explosions, angry youths barricaded roads and attacked people passing by yesterday, and houses and a truck also were set ablaze. UN chief Ban Ki-moon blasted the bombings in Jos, which are thought to be the work of Islamist militants, and backed government attempts to arrest those behind them. Locals say police, who claim things are under control, haven’t kept them safe.

The attacks are the latest in a long string of killings—some 500 have died this year in Jos and neighboring villages. Analysts fear a widening struggle between Muslims in the north and the predominantly Christian south ahead of next year's presidential elections. “The aim of the mastermind is to pit Christians against Muslims and spark off another round of violence that will eventually culminate in the scuttling of the ongoing electioneering activities,” said an official.