GENEVA, Switzerland, June 22 (UPI) -- Attacks against religious groups in Nigeria, allegedly by Islamic group Boko Haram, may constitute crimes against humanity, a U.N. agency said.
The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that more than 100 people were killed during attacks by Boko Haram on Christian institutions in Nigeria last weekend.
OHCHR states 30 people were killed during the initial attacks and the rest were died in clashes involving Nigerian forces, Islamic and Christian groups.
Nigeria is divided largely along Islamic and Christian lines. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is a Christian.
Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. agency, called on Nigerians to settle differences and avoid efforts to stir sectarian tension.
"Deliberate acts leading to population 'cleansing' on grounds of religion or ethnicity would also amount to a crime against humanity," he said in a statement.
Pope Benedict XVI issued an appeal for reconciliation this week. The U.S. State Department, meanwhile, classified three of Boko Haram's leaders as specially designated terrorists.