Abuja, 21. One hundred fifty dead and at least 200 wounded. This is the tragic outcome of the latest wave of violence devastating northern Nigeria this week. Violence which is increasing the difficulties facing the federal government and the concern of the international communities. Sunday's attack on three churches in Kaduna, of which the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram has claimed responsibility, were followed by retaliation and vengeance by both the Muslim and Christian communities, resulting in 108 people confirmed dead. The Nigerian bishops have condemned the retaliation and expressed concern. Between Monday and yesterday, 40 people including 6 military personnel and 34 militants of Boko Haram, died in the battles in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe.
The Nigerian bishops have repeatedly warned about the need to prevent Boko Haram's approach, aiming at radicalising interreligious hate. If we respond to violence with violence we will be playing a game of who wants to destroy the country and without dialogue between religions, peoples and cultures the country cannot exist, said Fr Patrick Alumuku, director of social communications of the Archdiocese of Abuja, to the Agency MISMA. Among the international initiatives concerning the situation in northern Nigeria — and more generally the violence against Christians in the world — there has been a motion presented in the Italian Chamber of Deputies against the persecution of religious freedoms wherever they are threatened, signed unanimously by parliamentary groups. The motion commits the government to “taking every initiative within their capabilities so that violence against Christians is considered to be a very serious international emergency in every international assembly and so that it becomes an issue of explicit condemnation and of coordinated and effective interventions on the part of the authorities and supranational organizations.