Monday, February 20, 2012

Who are those funding Boko Haram?

Note: This is an article by Funmi Macaulay, one of the regular readers of this blog and a New York-based Nigerian-American very concerned about the present security situation in Nigeria. 

Grieving faces of women widowed by Boko Haram
The war on terror declared by the Nigerian security forces seems to be yielding some dividends with the recent arrest of Abu Qaqa, Boko Haram spokesman and re-capture of Kabir Abubakar Dikko (a.k.a  Kabiru Sokoto), the mastermind of the Madalla church bombing last Christmas.  Recent reports quote the Department of State Service (DSS) in Abuja as saying that they are extracting useful information from the two detainees.
As Vanguard newspaper acknowledged in one of its recent editorials, “the signs that our state agencies of security, particularly the Nigerian Army and the State Security Services (SSS) are gradually getting on top of this ugly situation are many.”  “These include the discovery of their bomb factories and arms dumps in Suleija, Damaturu, Maiduguri and Kano.  There also have been a series of foiling of their hits on military facilities in Kaduna and Maiduguri.”
Church members in Madalla dig graves for 20 victims of the Xmas Day bombing
While applaud, the security forces, I must say the war is far from over; if anything, the Boko Haram elements are becoming more brazen and determined.  They continue to issue threats and live up to their words.   Ten days ago in Kano , Alhaji Muhammadu, a 60 year critic of the group, was shot twice at a close range by some unknown gunmen on a motorbike.  “"He never hid his aversion to Boko Haram and would voice his disapproval of the sect publicly,” a resident of the area, said of the victim.
Since the beginning of the year, the group have served notice on their next targets and in spite of efforts by the security agencies they were able to pull off stunning raids that left hundreds of citizens dead or injured and property in ruins.  In a leaflet distributed around Kano last month, Boko Haram said it would target anyone who "collaborates against the group ", even if he is a Muslim.
Last Sunday, they make good that threat by assassinating Mustapha Geidam, a district head in Yobe State and Sheik Saina Ajiya, an Islamic cleric in Konduga, a town near Maiduguri.  Earlier that day, it took the careful surveillance of members of Christ Embassy Church in Suleja to avert the explosion of a bomb hidden near the church where members worshipped.
Ibrahim Shekarau, acclaimed leader of the group
As I write this piece, I am still recovering from the latest news I ran into in Yahoo earlier today - another killing Maiduguri, this time in a market.  Why would these folks be so heartless?  According to the AFP report, “Gunmen believed to be members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram stormed the fish section of Baga market and sprayed stallholders and vendors with bullets.”  Among the dead are women and children.  It is most likely the death toll will rise in a couple of days.
It is unfortunate that Boko Haram is bent on collapsing the entity called Nigeria.  Despite managing to survive since the Biafran civil war, the cracks that that sad epistle left on Nigeria’s psyche is yet to heal.   Now these aimless boobies continue to add insult to the nation’s injury.
While Nigeria often claims expertise in dancing on the brink without falling off, the recent actions of Boko Haram seriously challenges our dexterity in that game.  Boko Haram if untamed may finally provide the impetus that pushes the country into the abyss of state failure.
This is why I beckon on every Nigerian at home and in diaspora to join the call for the real faces behind Boko Haram to be exposed.  Much as I commend the security forces for, to an extent, rising to the challenge, the war against Boko Haram and its jahidist ideology cannot be won unless the financiers of the group are identified and made to face the full weight of the law.  Those felons must be unmasked and shamed if Nigeria would enjoy peace. 
The group has mushroomed in the last few years because little is known about its sponsors.  There is a lot to Boko Haram beyond the young men that serve as suicide bombers for the group.  Behind every Al-Qaeda, there is a rich Osama bin Laden and a network of other financiers that fuel their evil passion with the needed cash.
The remains of a bomb attack
Nobody should be considered too big before the law.  A lot of names have been trumpeted including former military president Ibrahim Babangida.  This is where what I consider the biggest assignment of the security forces lie.  Unmask the Osamas behind this Nigerian Al Qaeda, and we are on our way to a peaceful and more prosperous Nigeria.  President Jonathan, please know that Nigeria is on the edge.  Name and shame those guys before they destroy you and our dear homeland.  The time to act is now.

Funmi can be reached on

At least 30 killed in Maiduguri attack

Up to 30 people have been killed in the northeast Nigeria city of Maiduguri after suspected Islamists opened fire and set off bombs at a market today, witnesses have claimed.
Gunmen believed to be members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram stormed the fish section of Baga market and sprayed stallholders and vendors with bullets, traders said, reporting that women and children were among the dead.
"The number of dead could not be less than 30," a Maiduguri hospital nurse told AFP.
The military confirmed the assault on the market but denied any civilian deaths, saying security forces had killed eight assailants and safely detonated bombs planted by the attackers.
"At about 1:30 (1230 GMT) this afternoon at Baga market of Maiduguri metropolis some gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram attacked and shot civilians at the market," Lieutenant Colonel Hassan Mohammed, spokesman of a special military unit in the city, told AFP.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Kano attack and our definition of evil

December 25, 2011 was a sad day in the trend of Boko Haram attacks. But in less than one month, precisely on January 20, what befell Kano vitiated the Madalla mayhem to mere child’s play.
Terrorists visited Kano with over 20 bomb detonations at various spots in the city. At the time the bombing had died down, over 200 lay dead and roasted. Madalla was terrorism assault, but Kano was full blown war. It spared nobody; it was not selective in the pattern of victimization and killing.
It could be the worst ammunition disaster at any place in the nation after the civil war. That there was pandemonium is an understatement. The best word is that Kano was besieged, ravaged, pummeled, devastated and ruined.
After the blood fair by the agents of death, what was left of that large city of commerce evaporated with the migration of those who survived the onslaught out of the city. That way, the songs of joy the city had known turned to dirge.
I know of a particular instance of a young friend of mine whose family lived in Kano that left hurriedly immediately the bombs stopped.  That turn of events signaled the nailing of Kano – the populace and the economy. That was the Boko Haram attack that hit the north at the heart, and the economy of that city means the economy of the north.
Before the Kano attack, the blight called Boko Haram had been the evil others suffered which the core north watched from a very safe distance until that dreadful day. 
Frankly, the brutish and condemnable attack is what no society would wish for. But after that major crisis, the mayhem seems to be working out some good. If my thinking is right, I can say for certain that the security agencies that had pleaded helplessness in the past about the intractable Boko Haram calamity started finding the leeway to the height.
It was in the week Kano was hit and later left comatose that Kabiru Sokoto, the key suspect in the Madalla bombing, escaped from the grip of Hassan Zakari Biu.
But eight days ago, the prime suspect was found in Taraba as we were told and back in the custody of the State Security Service (SSS). And after the same attack, the issue against Biu and his trial before the police internal system intensified.
When you remember that a blundering former Inspector General of Police who had defied every call to leave for incompetence was kicked out five days after that attack, you appreciate what I am saying. Even the lobbyists who had worked on the president to spare him grew cold because the Kano attack had hit them straight in the face.
And just four days after Ringim was fired, on January 1, the same day victims of Boko Haram attack in Madalla were buried, the ubiquitous spokesman of Boko Haram, Abu Qaqa, was arrested. These are things hitherto thought impossible about the dreaded sect all the years they have been on rampage.
Many fingers had always pointed at the northern elite as being responsible for the menace spearheaded by the sect. Yes, even some political leaders from the region also admitted that some of them sponsor Boko Haram. One of such is General Jeremiah Useni, an Arewa Consultative Forum leader who indicted the former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff for helping one way or the other to give birth to the terror group. Some days after, Sheriff visited the presidential villa and denied having any hands in the creation of the monster.
And that was not the last in the series of rumoured links of these powerful people with Boko Haram as Tishau, a certain self confessed former leader of the group told a TV station in a live broadcast of how the elite in the north sponsor the group. After the capture of Qaqa, the same tale still prevails even from his confessions. Although we have not seen any of them arrested, we have high hopes that it will soon happen.
I dare say that the attack on Kano gave birth to all the progress so far made in the Boko Haram fight. After Osama Bin Ladin was killed in May last year, President Barack Obama declared that they made more progress in 10 days than they did in 10 years in tracking and unraveling the Al Qaeda problem. So has it been since January 20.
That brings me to the attitude of man in defining evil. ‘Evil means evil when I am affected. It is no evil, or at worst a distant delict or minor but normal social malady when others are the target.’ Who would prove me wrong if I conclude that the northern political force and leadership who many had accused of unhealthy silence in the face of the crisis had felt earlier that Boko Haram is a threat to people of distant lands? They possibly also would have seen it as a political tool that could be of good and potent use in 2015. Some might even have conceived it as even a religious platform to undo others who deserve no mercy. Who knows if they had reasoned that the consequence of Boko Haram assault is like the river that must flow in one direction, thereby leaving them unscathed after all? But on January 20, they saw that Boko Haram is just the opposite of all they ever imagined. The group became a scientific experiment which experts would tell you
that the man handling it only knows and has the powers to start and not to stop or control its reach.
When a group that claims to be of Islam declares that it plans to hit Sokoto or the revered Sultan, what else could it be other than evil that observes no limits? 
Yes, Boko Haram had made such declaration, and its grouse according to the statement was that the Sultan preaches peace and does not align with it to flush out outsiders and ensure that Nigeria or possibly the entire north becomes a one-religion-bloc.
So, on the day the bombs dropped in Kano, so much action was agitated against the bombers; real move was unleashed against them; their kingpins picked up and even if the bombs have not ceased from going off, feelers from the security forces give some hope that the problem may not be without solution as earlier imagined.
What we learn from this is that to solve all the problems threatening Nigeria is simple. It is as simple as telling ourselves the truth that what affects one affects all; That we are tied into a common bundle that whatever impact one feels, reverberates to others and none is left out when calamity strikes.
If we start to live with this understanding, we will feel each other’s pains and also reckon that we should never live to be harbingers of terror to others because it must always boomerang.
The way we feel the pangs of the attack on Kano by terrorists should be the proper way to feel all attacks on the nation, no matter where. Attack on Kano has served as wake up call to all of us to work as a team and chase evil out of town.
 All of a sudden we realized that something so bad is threatening the nation and as it comes, the nightmare will touch all and spare none. The vaunting voices of threat have calmed down to tones of confession and contrition. The non-performing security chiefs got fired, solutions start to emerge, networks of cohesive efforts to fight a common enemy are created and the terror is hedged in from all flank. These are the benefits of the Kano attack.
Even a rabble rousing Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi woke up from his slumber as if Kano was the first place BH ever attacked and doled out N100m to victims of the war. Do you blame him? They say he is line to vie for the seat of the emir of Kano on the day it would be vacant. 
So the attack made CBN or Sanusi understand that victims of war deserve some succour. That was another good outcome, especially if Sanusi who acts like one who hates outsiders would extend the same kindness to others.
But I ask again – should we keep folding our hands, pretend nothing goes wrong because we are not involved until it gets bad like in the Kano case before we find solutions to problems in our society?

Author:  Ikenna Emewu

Boko Haram: Between rebellion and jihad

At about 10:40 one morning last August, Mohammed Abul Barra rammed his ash-colored station wagon into a security gate outside the United Nations headquarters in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, knocking it off its hinges. Barra's 1996 Honda Accord then crashed through the main building's glass doors and slammed against the reception desk.
Evacuating victims at the UN housing bombing in Abuja
On security tapes of the incident seen by Reuters, a guard peers into the car, evidently unaware that it is packed with explosives. The grainy footage shows a dozen or so people in the reception edge towards the vehicle. Over 10 seconds pass in confusion before one man seemingly realizes what is about to happen. He grabs the person next to him and darts towards the lift. But it's too late. Barra steadies himself, leans forward and the security screens blur into white fuzz.
The suicide strike left 25 people dead and the UN headquarters in tatters. It also drew global attention to Boko Haram, the militant group from northern Nigeria which has claimed responsibility for the attack and a string of bombings since then that has killed hundreds.
As the bombings have grown in frequency in recent months, the Nigerian government and Western security officials have begun to grapple with the exact nature of the threat. Is Boko Haram just the latest in a long list of violent spasms in Nigeria, or is it the next battalion of global jihadists, capable of thrusting Africa's most populous nation into civil war?
The answer to that is not simple. There is evidence - some of it detailed in this story for the first time - that elements of Boko Haram have received training from foreign militant groups, including North Africa-based al-Qaida in the Islamic Magreb (AQIM). The August attack was far more sophisticated than anything linked to Boko Haram before.
Protest against Boko Haram 
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan calls the group a terrorist organization with global ambitions. In an interview in his presidential villa last week, Jonathan said there was "no doubt" Boko Haram has links with jihadist groups outside Nigeria. General Carter Ham, the head of the US military's Africa Command, said last year Boko Haram posed a threat to US and Western interests.
At the same time, Boko Haram remains firmly focused on domestic Nigerian issues. When its secretive spokesman claims responsibility for attacks, he almost always lists local grievances that have little to do with the core ideologies of al-Qaida. The group's name means "Western education is sinful" in Hausa, the language spoken in northern Nigeria, the country's Muslim heartland. But its anger is directed not at America or Europe but at Nigeria's elites: at their perceived arrogance, their failure to deliver services, and the brutality of their security forces. Many Boko Haram members say their focus is on targeting officials who have locked up its members or misused state funds.
Even Nigeria's national security adviser, General Owoye Azazi, who sees a link between Boko Haram and AQIM, urges caution in defining the group.  "We need to tackle Boko Haram from several perspectives," Azazi said in an interview. "If you go back to history, there are religious concerns, there are concerns about governance, and of course, political implications. It's a combination of so many things."

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nigerians flee to Cameroon to escape Boko Haram violence

Nigerians have fled in droves to neighbouring Cameroon to escape violence claimed by the Islamist Boko Haram group and revenge attacks by Christians.
“Everybody is insecure in Nigeria. The fear is all-pervading,” said a Christian priest, speaking on condition of anonymity, in Fotokol, a Cameroonian border town where dozens have taken shelter in the last few weeks.
It is located about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, the bastion of the shadowy Boko Haram sect which has been blamed for a slew of terror attacks that have sowed panic in Africa’s most populous nation.
Boko Haram has claimed to be fighting for an Islamic state in the north, but its demands have varied.  “Many Nigerians like myself have fled their villages in the south. We feel secure in Cameroon,” the priest said in Fotokol.
“That is why I am sheltered here,” he added.  He has rented a house which is about 10 minutes by motorcycle to the nearest town in Nigeria, Gamboru Ngala, where he heads the local Catholic church.
It is difficult to gauge the exact number of Nigerians who have fled to Cameroon as they cross the border illegally, but there are easily dozens sheltered here since the attacks and tit-for-tat ripostes by Christians.
Mahamat Tujani, a Muslim trader from Maiduguri, fled to Kousseri near Fotokol.  “I abandoned my business and my family to seek refuge at the home of my cousin,” a Cameroonian, he said. “I escaped out of fear.”
He hoped to return home soon, he said, “but if the killings continue, I will bring over my family members here.”
Boko Haram has been blamed for scores of bomb attacks in Nigeria’s Muslim-dominated north. It claimed responsibility for January 20 coordinated bombings and shootings in Nigeria’s second-largest city of Kano that left at least 185 people dead — Boko Haram’s deadliest attack yet.
The August suicide bombing of UN headquarters in the capital Abuja which killed at least 25 people was also attributed to the group.  “When you scent danger, you must escape,” the priest said.
“Even in the Gospel, the Lord says the moment you sense danger, you must escape. If you don’t it’s suicide,” he said.
The priest said two Christians from the mainly Christian Igbo ethnic group were killed in Mobi in Adamawa state about three weeks ago.  “When the other Igbos went to reclaim their bodies the Boko Haram struck and killed 29 others,” he said.
Sectarian violence has been rising since elections in July last year. He urged both Christians and Muslims to “return to God.”
The priest said Muslims were also targeted by Boko Haram. Between January 28 and 30, three people — including a Muslim — were killed in Gamboru Ngala, Nigerian and Cameroonian police and medical sources said.
The priest was following an Africa Cup of Nations match on television at a bar, along with six other compatriots. In another room, eight other Nigerians sat, drinking.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Explosions hit near military bases in Kaduna

Explosions struck Tuesday near army and air force bases on the outskirts of the central Nigerian city at the heart of riots last year that killed hundreds, officials said.
The explosions near Kaduna caused some injuries, state police commissioner Bala Nasarawa said. However, he said he did not have any other details. Journalists working in the city said soldiers and security forces cordoned off the areas and blocked access to the sites immediately after the blasts.
Authorities said they received reports of a third explosion near a highway overpass in Kaduna, but had no other immediate details.  Emergency officials confirmed blasts occurred at the base of the 1st Mechanized Division near the town of Kawo and at the air force's training base near Mando. The officials declined to be named given the sensitivity of the matter.
Army and air force spokesmen could not be immediately reached for comment.  The blasts come as Nigeria faces increasingly bloody attacks from a radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram. The sect has killed at least 270 people this year alone in its campaign to avenge Muslim deaths and implement strict Shariah law across multiethnic Nigeria, a nation of more than 160 million people.
The blasts come after security agencies last week arrested a man they believe to be the sect's spokesman.
Kaduna, on Nigeria's dividing line between its largely Christian south and Muslim north, was at the heart of postelection violence in April. Mobs armed with machetes and poison-tipped arrows took over streets of Kaduna and the state's rural countryside after election officials declared President Goodluck Jonathan the winner. Followers of his main opponent, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, quickly alleged the vote had been rigged, though observers largely declared the vote fair.
Across the nation, at least 800 people died in the April rioting, Human Rights Watch said.  In Kaduna alone, more than 2,000 died as the government moved to enact Islamic Shariah law in 2000. In 2002, rioting over a newspaper article suggesting the prophet Muhammad would have married a Miss World pageant contestant killed dozens.
Courtesy: AFP

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Boko Haram challenge

Mass burial in Madalla
Late in December last year, a strong sense of bewilderment led me to digress from the issues I have substantially blogged about and to concentrate my commentaries on the new dimension that terrorism has assumed in Nigeria.  I did so for three key reasons – (1) As a Nigerian, I am enormously troubled by the fiefdom that the country is becoming as a result of the activities of some disgruntled elements in our midst.  (2)  I believe change only comes when those who earnestly desire it rise and demand it. We've seen the impact of the social media-fueled popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and other parts of the Middle East. (3) The Boko Haram bombings in the last few months particularly affected me given that some of my siblings died in Madalla.
Since that digression which was mainly prompted by the Christmas Day callous bombing at St Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla on the outskirts of Abuja, a lot of other bombings and gun attacks have taken place by the group which claimed responsibility for the despicable act – the Boko Haram sect. 
Woman who lost husband and kids in the bombing weeps
As I watched faces of family members and sympathizers that gathered  earlier today at Madalla for the mass burial of some of the victims of last Christmas bombing, I saw the same incomprehension that characterized my Christmas and New Year seasons. An almost identical sense of bewilderment must have struck many of them. Why would a human being - so called - kill other humans in this manner? The same sadness that characterized today’s mass burial ceremony in Madalla, would pervade Adazi Nnukwu, a small town in my home state Anambra where eleven of the over 20 people killed  last month at Mubi, Adamawa state will be buried tomorrow.
No doubt, these are very trying times for our dear country, Nigeria; what with the palpable state of insecurity, profound and debilitating economic challenges, disquieting political uncertainties and rising social tensions.  Of all its present challenges, I have maintained that the greatest of them all now, is the Boko Haram insurgence.  Reason – it threatens Nigeria’s very existence as a nation.
I have followed the many reports on the movement of southerners out of the north, and also the growing exodus of northerners from the south, particularly the east.  Many of these ‘Boko Haram returnees’ as they are now known in parts of the south, are people who have lived all their lives in the part of the country from where they are now fleeing.  There are also reports of Christians in the north now preferring to pray in their houses instead of going to church because of the fear of Boko Haram.  The truth remains, no nation can prosper under the kind of insecurity that now prevails in Nigeria.
A family member weeps during President Jonathan's visit
In my desire to lend my voice to the growing call for law and order in Nigeria, I have received comments and emails from different people including somebody who purports to speak for Boko Haram.  My position has been that Boko Haram goes beyond economics.  It goes beyond the poverty question.   Islamic fundamentalism is a completely reactionary ideology that seeks to turn the wheel of history backward to establish theocratic dictatorships.  It is officially intolerant of any other religion, enforcing a fanatically puritanical social order.
I share the belief that economics help to fuel it but not many poor people that I know would accept death as the alternative to their poverty, at least not Nigerians.  Many poor people crave to come out of their poverty and not to die in it.  Those who volunteer to do suicide bombing for Boko Haram and its likes, do so for reasons other than escaping poverty.
Fundamentalism the world over thrives on dogmas, religious indoctrination and the quest for political dominance.  Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, popularly known as the ‘underwear bomber’ wasn’t poor in every sense of the word.  He comes from one of the richest families in Nigeria, just the same way Osama bin Laden came from one of Saudi Arabia’s richest oligarchy.  The same thing that inspired Osama inspired him. 
What the Boko Haram group asks is simply what Nigeria can’t give.   
Destruction in Kano
The survival of Nigeria as an entity anchors principally on the continued existence of the country as a secular state.   The battle before Nigeria today is more than a military one.  In the word of former American leader, it is a decisive ideological struggle. “On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation, the right of all people to speak and worship and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism.” As we confront the unpleasantries that the Boko Haram group has brought upon us as a nation, we must as Nigerians say 'yes' to the dignity of human life, the right to agree and disagree without causing harm to those who oppose us, and freedom of expression and of religion. To do otherwise is to continue the descent to precipice.

Suspected Boko Haram spokesman arrested

Nigerian authorities have arrested a man believed to be a spokesman for Islamist group Boko Haram, which has claimed responsibility for scores of deadly attacks, security sources said Wednesday.
Two security sources said on condition of anonymity that a person suspected to be the man who goes by the alias Abul Qaqa had been arrested.
A third security source said officers were still trying to ascertain his identity, while secret police spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar said she could not confirm the arrest.
"We made a big success with the arrest of the Boko Haram spokesman that goes by the name Abul Qaqa," a secret police source told AFP.
A senior police source said he had "received information of the arrest of the Boko Haram spokesman ... He has been held for questioning."
A third security source said "agents want to be sure that it is actually the spokesman of Boko Haram. They are still trying to ascertain that."
The man who goes by the name Abul Qaqa has claimed to speak on behalf of Boko Haram on numerous occasions, including to claim responsibility for scores of attacks in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and largest oil producer.
Its most deadly attack to date occurred in Nigeria's second city of Kano on January 20, when coordinated bombings and shootings killed at least 185 people. A man calling himself Abul Qaqa claimed that attack on behalf of Boko Haram.
The purported spokesman has regularly held phone conferences with journalists in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Boko Haram's base.
Differing versions of the arrest emerged, with one source saying he had been detained in the northern city of Kaduna early Wednesday and others saying it occurred in a raid in Maiduguri on Tuesday.
The secret police source said "he was tracked down using state of the art tracking equipment. He is now in custody undergoing interrogation."
Ogar, spokeswoman for the secret police, could not confirm any arrest.
"When you have an ongoing operation, a lot of people are brought in, and until you are able to put a face to a name ...," nothing can be confirmed, Ogar said. "My office has not confirmed to me that they have him."
Boko Haram has carried out increasingly sophisticated attacks, mostly in Nigeria's north, that have left hundreds of people dead.
The spiralling violence has sparked deep concern in the international community and shaken the country, whose 160 million population is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.
There has been intense speculation over whether Boko Haram has formed links with outside extremist groups, including Al-Qaeda's north African branch.
Diplomats say some Boko Haram members have sought training abroad, but there is no proof of operational links with foreign extremists, and that the group remains domestically focused.
Analysts say the violence has been fed by deep poverty in the north, where masses of unemployed youths have little trust in government or hope for the future in a country long considered one of the world's most corrupt.
Boko Haram has mainly targeted police stations and other symbols of authority. Christians have also been killed, including in a wave of bomb blasts on Christmas day, but Muslims have been victims of attacks as well.
Courtesy: AFP