Sectarian violence rocks Nigeria —and Tanzania

Gunmen attacked a mosque in a village in Dogo Dawa village in Nigeria's northern Kaduna state Oct. 14, killing 22 worshippers as they were leaving after prayers. Authorities called it an attack by a criminal band against followers of a vigilante group rather than sectarian violence. But that same day saw multiple attacks in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, including an armed assault on a church that killed a married couple and their child in the city Gwange area. In a separate incident, the traditional chief in Gwange, Mala Kaka, was gunned down in his home. Kaka was close to Umar Garbai el-Kanemi, a local cleric who was the intended target of a suicide blast in July. The suicide attack, attributed to Boko Haram, killed five but left Kanemi unharmed. (AFP, Oct. 15; Reuters, Oct. 14)

Violent clashes erupted over the weekend in Tanzania's chief city Dar es Salaam as scores of Muslim youth stormed a police station and demanded that a 14-year-old boy accused of urinating on the Koran be handed over to them In the aftermath of the confrontation, at least five churches were attacked, several car windows smashed and passers-by injured as the angry mob moved from street to street in the suburban district of Mbagala. Dar es Salaam's top Islamic cleric Sheikh Alhad Mussa Salum condemned the rampage: "The incident doesn’t need emotions in dealing with. Islam means peace; we can deal with such issues peacefully. This matter involved children. Islam considers age; it shouldn’t lead to a breach of peace in our country." (The Citizen, Tanzania, Oct. 13)