By Our Reporter
The Islamist group Boko Haram could be responsible for crimes against humanity in Nigeria, the United Nations has said.
The High Commissioner for Human Rights is “extremely concerned” by the recent attacks on churches in Kaduna province and the “tit-for-tat” reprisals by Christians which since June 17 have left more than 100 people dead, Rupert Colville, spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) told reporters.
Boko Haram claimed it was behind the attacks.
“Members of Boko Haram … if judged to have committed widespread or systematic attacks against a civilian population — including on grounds such as religion or ethnicity — are likely to be found guilty of crimes against humanity,” said Colville.
“Deliberate acts leading to population ‘cleansing’ on grounds of religion or ethnicity could also amount to a crime against humanity,” he said.
The group is also blamed for bomb and gun attacks, mainly in the North East, that have claimed more than 1,000 lives since mid-2009.
The sect’s attacks have grown increasingly sophisticated and have spread from the group’s base in the North East to the capital Abuja.
It claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing of U.N. headquarters in Abuja in August that killed at least 25 people and a suicide attack on the Abuja office of one of the country’s most prominent newspapers.
Its deadliest attack yet occurred in Kano in January, when at least 185 people died in coordinated bombings and shootings.
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