Britain denounces attack on Nigeria mosque

In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, Nigerian Muslims walk past an uncompleted mosque in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Suspected Islamic militants wearing army fatigues gunned down 44 people praying at a mosque in northeast Nigeria, while another 12 civilians died in an apparently simultaneous attack, security agents said Monday Aug. 12, 2013. The slayings occurred Sunday morning at a mosque in Konduga town, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) outside Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria's Borno state. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
In this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, Nigerian Muslims walk past an uncompleted mosque in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Suspected Islamic militants wearing army fatigues gunned down 44 people praying at a mosque in northeast Nigeria, while another 12 civilians died in an apparently simultaneous attack, security agents said Monday Aug. 12, 2013. The slayings occurred Sunday morning at a mosque in Konduga town, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) outside Maiduguri, the capital of Nigeria's Borno state. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Britain’s foreign office minister for Africa is condemning as “contemptible and cowardly” an attack on a mosque in northeastern Nigeria in which suspected Islamic extremists killed at least 44 worshippers.

Security agents say attackers struck under cover of darkness as residents were saying their dawn prayers at around 5:30 a.m. (GMT) Sunday at Konduga town, 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Maiduguri.

They said another 12 civilians died in a simultaneous attack outside Maiduguri.

“Attacking innocent people in a place of worship is a contemptible and cowardly act,” Mark Simmonds said Tuesday.

He said Britain “stands with the government and people of Nigeria.”

Sunday’s attacks are the latest in a series of violent acts blamed on religious extremists wanting to oust the government and impose Islamic law.

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