Fears of escalating conflict in Nigeria

Fears of escalating conflict in Nigeria
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Tensions are rising in Nigeria over economic and religious issues.

At least one person has been killed in protests over the removal of a government subsidy on fuel that has led to a doubling of prices.

Trade unions have called for a national strike and mass demonstrations to shut down oil production unless the move is reversed.

Nigerians are worried that the spiralling cost of fuel will have a serious impact on their living standards.

But a potentially much more serious problem is rising tension between the mainly-Christian South and militant Islamists centred in the North.

President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of emergency in parts of the North after the militant group Boko Haram killed more than 50 people in a series of bomb attacks on Christmas Day.

In one incident 37 Christians died in an explosion at a church on the outskirts of the capital Abuja.

The spread of the attacks southwards has raised fears of an escalation of sectarian and regional violence in Africa’s most populous country.

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