Local Nigerians react to deadly attacks

December 25, 2011 8:21:50 PM PST
It was a violent Christmas day in Nigeria where at least 39 people died and dozens more were injured in terror attacks claimed by radical Muslim sect.

The White House says it will help Nigeria bring to justice those behind today's attacks.

The most deadly attack took place at a church during Christmas Mass.

Members of a Nigerian church in Houston say they are remembering the victims and praying for their homeland.

They were celebrating Christmas at Redeemed Christian Church of God on Sugar Branch Drive in Houston on Sunday, but their thoughts were with those thousands of miles away.

"May the peace of God be with Nigerians," Lola Onanusi said. "It's really shocking to hear something like this happened on Christmas day. May God have mercy on us."

The terror attacks across Nigeria killed at least 39 people. Many of them died on the steps of a Catholic church after celebrating Christmas Mass.

Local responders could not get enough medical personnel in to help all the wounded.

The violence spread throughout the country from gunfire to a suicide car bomber.

"Nothing we can do than to pray. There is no way that darkness can overcome light. Darkness may persist, but eventually it is the light that will come," Theophilus Akinyele said.

The wounded filled the cement floors of a nearby government hospital. A radical Muslim group has claimed responsibility

The president of Nigeria says they will spend more on security and are determined to bring those responsible to justice.

Here in houston, Nigerian-Americans lift up prayers for the violence to end.

"It's sad that some families have to be mourning at this time. However, the joy of Christmas, we pray that God will also change the hearts of those who are going around doing wicked things," Samuel Akinrinde said.

This Christmas attack comes one year after a series of Christmas Eve bombings claimed by the militants left at least 32 dead and 74 wounded.

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