- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 20, 2012

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) —  More than 98 people have died since Sunday after a trio of church bombings sparked reprisals in northern Nigeria, a rescue official said Wednesday.

The official said the reprisals were ongoing. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to journalists.

A radical sect known as Boko Haram claimed responsibility for a series of church attacks that hit the cities of Zaria and Kaduna in the flashpoint state. Kaduna state, which sits on Nigeria‘s dividing line between its largely Christian south and Muslim north, has a history of religious violence.

Boko Haram is waging an increasingly bloody fight with Nigeria‘s security agencies and public. More than 580 people have been killed in violence blamed on the sect this year alone, according to an Associated Press count.

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