ABUJA, Nigeria, December 21, 2021 (Morning Star News) – Terrorists with the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) on Sunday (Dec. 19) killed 12 Christians in an attack in Borno state, northeastern Nigeria, sources said.
The Islamic extremist militants attacked the predominantly Christian village of Kilangal, Askira-Uba County, in the afternoon, shortly after residents were leaving church worship services, area residents told Morning Star News by text message.
Dauda Sabo, spokesman for the Askira-Uba Local Government Council, confirmed the attack in a statement on Monday (Dec. 20), saying ISWAP militants killed 12 people and wounded three others, along with burning down nine houses.
“The [Askira-Uba Local Government] Council officials visited the grave where the 12 people killed were buried,” Sabo said. “They condemned the attack and described it as gruesome, sad and inhumane.”
The terrorists also were reported to have looted shops.
Sources said the assailants faced no resistance. Area resident Abdul Balte said those killed were Christians.
“The attacks were carried out by these armed terrorists without resistance from military in the area,” Balte said. “Christians who survived have been forced to flee the village.”
The Abubakar Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram in 2015 formally aligned with the Islamic State and changed its name to Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), and many Nigerians still refer to the Shekau-led faction of ISWAP by its original name, Boko Haram. Another area resident, Yakubu Joshua, said this was not the first attack on the area.
“These persistent attacks on our villages by Boko Haram have left us in perpetual penury and the loss of our people,” Joshua said. “I pray the Lord hears our prayers and heals our land.”
Area resident Markus Njidda described the attacks as savage.
“This attack marks the sad misfortune Christians in the northeast are made to face by Boko Haram terrorists,” Njidda said. “These attacks are savagely carried out against Christians.”
Area resident Joseph Yohanna added, “I feel very sad that our people have continued to be attacked ceaselessly by Boko Haram elements without the government doing anything to end these attacks. Please pray that God deliver our people and the country from these murderers.”
The Islamic State recognizes the ISWAP faction that broke away from Shekau in 2016 as its cell in the region, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
In a video released on July 22, 2020, Islamic extremists thought to be members of ISWAP executed five Nigerian men in Borno state, with one executioner saying it was a warning to “all those being used by infidels to convert Muslims to Christianity.”
On Jan. 20, 2020, Islamic terrorists executed the Rev. Lawan Andimi, district chairman of the EYN in Michika County, Adamawa state, also in northeast Nigeria.
A video released in January 2020 shows ISWAP terrorists executing Christian university student Ropvil Daciya Dalep, a member of the Church of Christ in Nations who was kidnapped on the Damaturu-Maiduguri Highway while returning to studies in Maiduguri, Borno state.
Nigeria was the country with the most Christians killed for their faith last year (November 2019-October 2020), at 3,530, up from 1,350 in 2019, according to Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List. In overall violence, Nigeria was second only to Pakistan, and it trailed only China in the number of churches attacked or closed, 270, according to the list.
Nigeria led the world in number of kidnapped Christians last year with 990, according to the WWL report. In the 2021 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian, Nigeria broke into the top 10 for the first time, jumping to No. 9 from No. 12 the previous year.
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Article originally published by Morning Star News. Used with permission.
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