People are horrified by a bombing at a Nigeria bus station that killed at least 71 people and injured 124 yesterday. The Nigerian President blamed Boko Haram, an Islamist militant group that has become a very big problem for Nigeria in the last few years. The group’s name means “Western Education is forbidden,” so you can see why they don’t have many friends. Their goal is to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state; if it turns out they were behind the attack, it would be seen as a scary sign that they might be gaining strength.
Monday’s bombing would represent a significant amplification of Boko Haram’s bloody campaign to undermine the Nigerian state. For the past two years, many attacks have occurred in the country’s northeastern areas, killing many civilians in the region’s towns and villages. This isn’t the first time militants have struck the capital before. In 2011, a series of Christmas bombings occurred, with the worst attacks taking place during a morning mass ceremony. What is most scarring is how Nigerian television showed images of rows of charred, bombed-out cards and buses after the blast along with bloodstained shreds of clothing, as some of the buses had been burned to their frames.