Women weep over their loved ones who died in the Christmas day bomb explosion at St. Theresa’s Catholic church in Madalla, just outside the capital Abuja December 31, 2011. (REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)
It was the latest in a series of attacks blamed on radical Islamists who have vowed to wage a religious war on Nigeria’s Christians and drive them from the country’s majority-Muslim north.
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Several dozen Christians had come together for a meeting in a town hall in Mubi, in Adamawa state, to mark the deaths the day before of several people killed in the town.
Up to four gunmen surrounded the building and opened fire with Kalashnikov rifles, killing up to 20 people and leaving another 15 badly injured.
“We started hearing many gunshots through the windows,” said Okey Raymond, 48, who was at the meeting.
“Everyone scampered for safety, but the gunmen chanted: ‘God is great God is great’ while shooting at us.”