Suspected Islamists kill 10 Christians in northeast Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria Mon Dec 3, 2012 12:07am IST

Related Topics

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Suspected Islamist fighters went on the rampage in northeast Nigeria overnight, killing 10 Christians with guns and machetes and burning down their houses, witnesses said on Sunday.

The attack happened in a village called Chibok, in a remote part of northeastern Borno state, at the heart of an insurgency led by Islamist sect Boko Haram.

"Suspected Boko Haram came at night and set people's houses on fire before killing their victims," said Nuhu Clark, a former local councillor of the village who escaped the attack.

He said he counted ten bodies afterwards.

A police spokesman said they were aware of the incident but were still trying to confirm casualties.

Islamist fighters have killed hundreds of people since launching an uprising against the government in 2009, the usual targets being security forces, government officials or Christians, whom Boko Haram sees as infidels.

But the insecurity the conflict has created has also enabled criminal gangs who are nothing to do with the sect kill and rob.

In a separate incident, militants burned down three churches on Saturday in Gamboru, also in Borno state, said trader Umar Abubakar, who witnessed the attack.

Such attacks on Christians seem calculated to ignite sectarian tensions in Africa's most populous nation, which is split roughly evenly between Muslims and Christians. They mostly live side by side in peace, although bouts of violence between the communities sometimes flare up.

Boko Haram, which wants to carve out an Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has been blamed for more than 1,000 deaths since its insurgency intensified in 2010. The United States has designated three of Boko Haram's senior members as terrorists.

Its leader Abubakar Shekau praised jihadist movements across the globe on Thursday in a new video, and singled out the United States, Britain, Israel and Nigeria as enemies.

(Reporting by Ibrahim Mshelizza; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Sophie Hares)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

HONG KONG

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Modi in U.S.

Modi in U.S.

Obama, Modi vow to boost strategic ties, create model for world.  Full Article 

Tracking Tourists

Tracking Tourists

Thai tourism minister wants wristbands for tourists, party curfews.  Full Article 

Inside Afghanistan

Inside Afghanistan

Afghans prepare to sign deal with U.S. allowing troops to stay.  Full Article 

Volcanic Eruption

Volcanic Eruption

Recovery of Japan volcano victims suspended amid signs of rising activity.  Full Article 

Online Abuse

Online Abuse

Online abuse of women in Pakistan turns into real-world violence.  Full Article 

Threat to Wildlife

Threat to Wildlife

Global wildlife populations down by half since 1970 - WWF.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage