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Christian charity pleads with global leaders to tackle terror in Nigeria

by Desmond Busteed

A Christian anti-persecution organisation has urged world leaders to treat terrorism in Nigeria with the same level of seriousness as the attacks in Paris.

Release International wants world leaders to focus their attention on breaking the Islamic extremist group Boko Harem, after explosives strapped to a girl who appeared to be about 10-years-old detonated on Saturday in Baga, near the border with Chad, killing at least 20 people.

Boko Haram militants are believed to have killed as many as 2,000 people, mostly civilians, in another massacre which started the weekend before the terror attack on Charlie Hedbo in Paris.

The assault on Baga and its environs continued until 7 January, while the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) and the Nigerian army attempted to regain the town.

The latest attacks in Baga, Maiduguri and elsewhere, have forced 30,000 people to flee, according to reports. An estimated 1.5m Nigerians have been displaced since the fighting began.

The death toll from the insurgency has now reached 10,000, according to the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations.

Release International says it also wants Nigeria's government to do more to protect the country's Christians who've been targeted in the latest attacks.

Many attacks have been against churches, schools and government buildings - especially in areas such as Maiduguri where Christians are in a sizeable minority. It's been estimated that Boko Haram has destroyed 1,000 churches since the start of their insurgency in 2009.

Release spokesman, Andrew Boyd told Premier's News Hour there's been little reaction from politicians around the world, despite David Cameron issuing a warning in the days after the incidents: "While you get a million out on the streets in France, where is anybody talking about the actual much larger scale attacks that have been taking place in Nigeria. And of course David Cameron has drawn attention to what's he's described as the 'fanatical death cult' of Islamist extremist violence."

Andrew Boyd, Release:

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