DAKAR, Senegal – Hundreds of Muslim protesters descended on a Jehovah’s Witness temple and a bar in a conservative Muslim neighborhood of the Senegalese capital on Sunday, setting the buildings on fire in a rare instance of religious extremism in this normally moderate Islamic republic.
Thierno Mbeugne, spokesman for the local imam association, said the head imam in the conservative Yoff district of Dakar had asked the youth to march on Sunday against what they considered as “acts of aggression against their faith.” They were targeting the temple because they claim its members were proselytizing, and the bar because it was selling alcohol.
He said the Islamic religious leaders did not endorse the violence, “but they do think that the youth were right” to destroy the church and the bar.
Bombers target beer gardens
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – Men riding motorcycles threw bombs into several outdoor beer gardens Sunday night in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 25 people, police said.
The bombs exploded in the restive city of Maiduguri, home to the sect known locally as Boko Haram. While the sect did not immediately claim responsibility for the attack late Sunday, the assault bore the hallmarks of the group now waging assassinations and attacks against the Nigerian government.
Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the local Hausa language, wants the implementation of strict Shariah law across Nigeria’s north.