NIGERIA: Militants attacked villages in Katsina state killing 69. Katsina has a large Christian population and dozens of churches were burned there following the April 2011 election of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The area also includes the family home of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 25-year-old “underwear bomber” who tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight bound for Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. Locals tell me the attackers are Fulani tribal gunmen, not connected to terror group Boko Haram: “Fulani terror attacks must surely be faced now before it gets out of hand,” said Mark Lipdo of Stefanos Foundation. The Nigerian government has declared states of emergency in three states where it’s battling Boko Haram, but aggression by Fulanis, the largest majority Muslim tribe in the north, is increasingly apparent across 12 states of northern Nigeria.
Today militants also attacked government installations in Maiduguri, the headquarters of Boko Haram, which is suspected of killing 500 people in terror attacks this year. For further long reading on this kind of wave of violence in Nigeria, this story from WORLD is still timely.
IRAN: Saeed Abedini, the jailed Iranian-American pastor, has been shackled and refused medical treatment at a hospital, as Iranian guards forcibly ban visitors.
SYRIA: The nuns captured in Maaloula last year have arrived back in Syria after a series of negotiations between rebels and the government for the first time ended successfully with their freedom. The nuns mostly are praising their captors, but analyst Raymond Ibrahim explains how the dhimmi status given (and accepted in some cases) to Christians is ultimately about hostility to all non-Muslims.
WE’RE WATCHING: The ongoing mystery surrounding Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 as India expands the search for the jetliner thousands of miles from where it was originally thought to have crashed … plus the developing situation in Crimea, where a referendum on joining Russia is slated for Sunday.
There will be no Globe Trot on Monday or Wednesday. Globe Trot will return on March 21.