Nigeria's Islamist extremists grow more dangerous

Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The radical Islamist sect in Nigeria known as Boko Haram is growing more violent with a record number of people killed this year as the government struggles to control the situation.

An Associated Press count shows more than 770 people have been killed in Boko Haram attacks this year. That makes 2012 the worst year of violence attributed to the group. Analysts say President Goodluck Jonathan's government has not found an effective response.

Making matters worse, government soldiers last month killed dozens of civilians in two incidents when they responded to Boko Haram attacks by opening fire in public places. Local residents say these shootings further alienated Nigeria's Muslim population and made them more sympathetic to the sect.

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