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

Canada Shooting

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Fighting Islamic State

Fighting Islamic State

Iraqi Kurds approve sending fighters to aid Syrian town.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Official WHO Ebola toll near 5,000 with true number nearer 15,000.  Full Article 

Double Murder

Double Murder

Thailand tourist murder suspects retract confessions.  Full Article 

Abducted Girls

Abducted Girls

Nigeria talks with Boko Haram but no sign of girls' release.  Full Article 

Bodies In Locker

Bodies In Locker

Woman charged after 6 infant bodies found in Canadian locker.  Full Article 

Tunisia Polls

Tunisia Polls

Tunisia election tests transition from autocracy to democracy.  Full Article 

Pope's Agenda

Pope's Agenda

Pope Francis plays long game to reform Catholic Church.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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