Suspected Islamists kill 10 Christians in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria Mon Dec 3, 2012 9:18am 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 councillor of the village who escaped the attack. He said he counted 10 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.

They are considered the top security threat to Africa's leading energy producer. The instability has also enabled purely criminal gangs to kill or rob with virtual impunity.

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.

Security forces said on Sunday they had killed a senior Boko Haram commander Mohammed Ibrahim, one of several who had a bounty placed on his head last week - of 25 million naira in his case.

"He was killed in an operation in Gwange ward (Borno state) along with two of his unit commanders," said a spokesman for joint military and police forces in Borno state, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa.

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 wants to carve out an Islamic state in northern Nigeria. Human Rights Watch has said around 3,000 people have been killed in the conflict 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 Andrew Roche)

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

SCOTLAND REFERENDUM

Reuters Showcase

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Scientists see risk of mutant airborne Ebola as remote  Full Article 

Attacks Feared

Attacks Feared

Australian PM cites "chatter" of attacks on government, parliament.  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine president secures U.S. military aid but not weapons.  Full Article 

Obama-Rouhani Meet

Obama-Rouhani Meet

Obama not due to meet Iran's Rouhani but open to it - U.S. official  Full Article 

IS Onslaught

IS Onslaught

Hundreds of Syrian Kurds fleeing Islamic State gather on Turkish border  Full Article 

Photo

Tight Race

Brazil's Rousseff closes in on Silva ahead of October vote  Full Article 

Fate Of Abductees

Fate Of Abductees

N.Korea probe on Japan abductees in early stage - Japan govt  Full Article 

Xinjiang Trial

Xinjiang Trial

China separatism trial of Muslim scholar ends, verdict next week - lawyer .  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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