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Nigerian bishop: 20 churches burned in attacks

March 4, 2014

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — A Catholic bishop says Islamic insurgents have destroyed 20 churches in northeastern Nigeria in recent attacks.

Bishop Oliver Dashe Dome says than 500 of his parishioners have been killed since insurgency in the region began in 2009. At least 180 people have been killed in less than two weeks, including 60 children.

Boko Haram insurgents advocate a harsh version of Islamic law and have threatened the Christian minority in northern Nigeria in the past. However, their victims have also been Muslim.

Three northeastern Nigerian states have been under emergency rule for over nine months.

Dome blames authorities for the carnage, saying Boko Haram is better armed than Nigeria’s military and expressing concern about the speed and rate of killings.