MADALLA (AFP) – Some 2,000 mourners crowded a Nigerian church still marked by blood stains Wednesday for a funeral service for victims of a Christmas day attack claimed by Islamists that killed dozens.
Ten coffins were on display inside St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla outside the capital Abuja during the service, which saw cries of anger as well as prayers for those who committed the “diabolic” bombing.
In a sign of sectarian tensions that the Christmas bombing and other attacks have sparked, mourners at the church reacted with a chorus of “no, no, no” following a suggestion that a local Muslim leader be allowed to speak.
Islamist group Boko Haram claimed a wave of Christmas Day attacks, the deadliest at St. Theresa, where at least 44 people died.
The violence sparked fears of reprisals in a country roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south, though Boko Haram’s victims have included many Muslims.