Reuters is reporting that Al Qaeda in North Africa is offering help to Nigerian Muslims in the face of Christian-Muslim clashes:
An al Qaeda group in North Africa has offered to give Nigerian Muslims training and weapons to fight Christians in the West African country, where more than 460 people were killed in sectarian clashes last month.
Vice President Goodluck Jonathan sent in the military to halt the violence after four days of clashes between Christian and Muslim mobs armed with guns, knives and machetes in the area round the city of Jos in central Nigeria.
"We are ready to train your people in weapons, and give you whatever support we can in men, arms and munitions to enable you to defend our people in Nigeria," the statement by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said.
It was signed in the name of Abu Mus'ab Abdel-Wadoud, who was described as the "emir", or leader, of the group, and appeared on Islamic websites that often carry statements from groups using the al Qaeda name around the world.
"You are not alone in this test. The hearts of Mujahideen are in pain over your troubles and desire to help you as much as possible, in the Islamic Maghreb, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Chechnya," it said.
Nigeria has roughly equal numbers of Christians and Muslims, though traditional animist beliefs underpin many people's faith.