Nigeria Declares State of Emergency

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency Saturday in parts of the country that have been hit with a series of attacks by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram. The latest violence comes nearly a week after the radical sect bombed churches throughout the country on Christmas Day, including one attack that killed at least 39 people. Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is forbidden," is trying to create sectarian strife in Nigeria, Africa's top oil producer. Jonathan has shut down borders with Cameroon, Chad, and Niger in the northeast, declaring the closure an "interim measure" that will be lifted "as soon as normalcy is restored." He also announced that his defense staff would be stepping up its security in the form of a special counter-terrorism force.