Nigeria Declares Emergency After Attacks
It's battling radical sect Boko Haram
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 31, 2011 12:31 PM CST
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (R) listens to relatives of victims of a Christmas bombing as he visits the damaged St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Nigeria's president today declared a state of emergency in parts of Africa's most populous nation, after a recent slew of deadly attacks blamed on a radical Muslim sect killed dozens of people. President Goodluck Jonathan declared an indefinite state of emergency in four states, which would all allow security agencies there to make arrests without proof and conduct searches without warrants.

"Terrorism is a war against all of us," Jonathan said on national TV. "I call on all Nigerians to join hands with government to fight these terrorists." A radical sect known as Boko Haram, some of whose members are believed to have links to al-Qaeda, wants to impose Islamic Shariah law across Nigeria. Its attacks have intensified religious divisions in the nation of 160 million.