ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan
has likened attacks by a radical Islamist sect in his West African
nation to the ongoing civil war in Syria, an unlikely acknowledgment
from the seat of power about the violent unrest gripping the country.
Jonathan's comments Sunday are
widely viewed here as hyperbole because the estimated 45,000 people
killed in the Syrian uprising is far more than those killed by Nigeria's
extremist sect. But Jonathan's remarks offer a glimpse into the worried
leader's mind as his weak government remains unable to stop attacks by the sect known as Boko Haram.
Though government and security officials have sought to downplay the
sect's guerrilla campaign of shootings and bombings, the group is blamed
for killing at least 792 people in 2012 alone, according to an
Associated Press count, the worst year of violence yet.
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