Militants in Nigeria have struck again, this time killing 40 civilians throughout four villages in northeastern Nigeria.
Eight days earlier, villagers in Chibok were also murdered. April 14 more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped and taken hostage from the same area.
According to the BBC, authorities suspect Boko Haram to be behind the violent attacks in Kwada and Kautikari who targeted several churches.
Samuel Chibok, a survivor of the raid, said, "Initially I thought they were military but when I came out, they were firing at people. I saw people fleeing and they burned our houses.”
Christian Today reports the Church of Christ in Nigeria and the Pentecostal Deeper Life Bible Church were among the churches attacked. Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Muslim-majority Adamawa.
“The president commiserates with all the families who lost loved ones in the heinous attacks and extends his heartfelt sympathies to all those who suffered injuries or lost their properties during the wanton assaults on Bauchi and Kaduna States," the statement reads.
International Christian Concern, a human rights and faith-based organization based in Washington DC, contends the Nigerian military and law enforcement personnel have neither confirmed the attacks nor announced an official death toll.
"The latest attack by Boko Haram on four churches and those innocently attending Sunday services inside once again affirms the religious motivation of this group's heinous crimes against the Nigerian people,” ICC's Regional Manager for Africa, Cameron Thomas, said. “For years, the Christian population of north Nigeria has faced a devastating offensive by Islamic militants that has yet to be effectively countered. Today, the bloodied soil of Kwada and Kautikari villages serve as a heart-rending cry for greater action to ensure the safety of Christians wishing to exercise their right to practice their beliefs free from fear of retribution at the barrel of gun or trigger of an explosive."
Publication date: June 30, 2014