Boko Haram jihadists killed at least 11 people, burnt a church and seized a priest on Christmas Eve in Nigeria’s restive northeast, local sources claimed today.
Security agencies had in recent days warned of an increased risk of attack during the holiday season.
Fighters in trucks and motorcycles stormed Pemi, a predominantly Christian village in Borno state on Thursday, shooting ‘indiscriminately’ and setting buildings on fire, said Abwaku Kabu, a militia leader.
In many parts of Nigeria, communities have resorted to armed vigilantes or militias, who work alongside the army, for self-defence.
‘The terrorists killed seven people, burnt 10 homes and looted food supplies that were meant to be distributed to residents to celebrate Christmas,’ Kabu said.
‘Four more dead bodies have been found in the nearby bushes by search and rescue volunteers,’ local community leader Ayuba Alamson said Friday. ‘This has moved the death toll to 11.’
The number of dead could rise as villagers fled to the bush and some people are still unaccounted for.
The assailants, who drove from the group’s nearby Sambisa forest enclave, looted medical supplies from a hospital before setting it ablaze, the militia leader said, adding they also burnt a church and abducted a priest.
The village is located only 12 miles from Chibok, where Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls six years ago.
In a separate raid on Thursday, gunmen attacked another Christian community in Garkida in the neighbouring Adamawa state, looting drug stores and food supplies before torching homes, residents claimed.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, AFP