North Africa Qaeda group offers to help Nigerian Muslims

February 1, 2010
nigeria violence

Farm truck attacked in Nigeria's central city of Jos as Muslim and Christian gangs clashed last month, 20 Jan 2010/Akintunde Akinleye

An al Qaeda group in North Africa has offered to give Nigerian Muslims training and weapons to fight Christians in the West African country, where more than 460 people were killed in sectarian clashes last month.

“We are ready to train your people in weapons, and give you whatever support we can in men, arms and munitions to enable you to defend our people in Nigeria,” the statement by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said.

Nigeria has roughly equal numbers of Christians and Muslims, though traditional animist beliefs underpin many people’s faith. Last month’s violence erupted in Jos after an argument between Muslim and Christian neighbours over the rebuilding of homes destroyed in previous clashes in 2008.

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