Christmas Day bombing suspect jailed for life in Nigeria
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A federal high court in Nigeria's capital city Abuja delivered judgment on Friday morning and sentenced Kabiru Umar, the alleged mastermind of the 2011 Christmas Day bombing of a church in the West African country, to life imprisonment, almost two years after he organized the attack.
Also known as Kabiru Sokoto, the self-confessed member of the Boko Haram sect, was accused of masterminding the tragic Christmas Day attack on St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla area of Nigeria's central state of Niger, during a morning mass.
At least 37 people died and 57 others were injured in the attack, carried out about 40 km away from the city center of Abuja, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Umar, who was previously arrested in the capital city on Jan. 14, 2012, had escaped from police custody two days later. He was later re-arrested and had since been kept in the custody of secret police which arraigned him on terrorism charges.
The Nigerian government had also alleged that the suspect trained more than 500 Boko Haram members on how to locally manufacture and detonate improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the West African country.
Between 2007 and 2012, in northwestern Sokoto State, he was said to have facilitated the commission of terrorist acts, including planting bombs at Police Headquarters in Abuja and some government organizations in the northern part of the country.
According to the judgment on Friday, Umar, a top commander of the Boko Haram sect, is to serve his jail term with hard labor.
More than 2,000 people, including women and children, have been reportedly killed since the sect launched its four-year insurgency in Africa's most populous country.
- Editor:Cherry | Source: Agencies
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