The United States Commission for International Religious Freedom, a non-partisan federal group, released a summary on sectarian violence at the hands of Islamist group Boko Haram in northern Nigeria.
The summary report dates back to the start of 2012, and claims that the largely anti-Christian violence has killed about 12,000 people. But more tellingly, it also outlines attacks against Muslim leaders and critics, as well as state and private institutions.
The USCIFR gathered the information from multiple sources, and said it only included the attacks claimed by the Boko Haram, so the impact, they added, could be even greater.The statistics are broken down into four sections. The first one summarizes some of the 50 attacks on Christian Churches. The report stated the Boko Haram will usually attack during services to maximize casualties.
The second section details attacks on Christians in the past 19 months, including a bomb attack Kano state on July 30, one of the deadliest with at least 45 deaths.
The third section also lists attacks on Muslim clerics and critics who have denounced the group. Lastly, the fourth section lists attacks on places and groups that the Boko Haram considers to be un-Islamic. They include attacks on people at bars or playing cards, as well as the November slaying of 20 women for wearing mini-skirts.
The independent U.S. Commission urged the Nigerian government to "enforce the rule of law” and to strengthen the judicial system to try to the people responsible. The Boko Haram is recognized by many countries as a terrorist organization. They are mainly active in northern Nigeria, and fight to impose their interpretation of Shari’a in the region.