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Nigerian President Calls For Calm Amid Attacks

Men look at the wreckage of a car following a bomb blast at a church outside the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on December 25.
Nigeria's president has appealed for calm following a series of deadly attacks on Christians suspected of being carried out by Islamist militants.

President Goodluck Jonathan, in a televised address on January 7, vowed to battle what he described as terrorism.

The president's remarks came as more than 30 people were reported killed in a series of attacks, including on churches, and hundreds of Christians were reported fleeing northern Nigeria.

"I urge all Nigerians to eschew bitterness and acrimony to live together in harmony and peace," Jonathan said. "Wherever there is any threat to public peace, our security forces will enforce the law without fear or favor."

The Boko Haram movement issued a warning last week calling on Christians to get out of mainly Muslim northern Nigeria.

Boko Haram -- which means "Western education is sacrilege" -- says it wants to impose Islamic Shari'a law in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, which is split roughly between a Christian-majority south and Muslim-majority north.

compiled from agency reports

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