June 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — In recent days, Islamist terrorists have killed dozens of people in two African countries. On Tuesday, suspected members of Boko Haram, also known as the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), murdered at least 81 people in a village in northeast Nigeria.
“Residents reported that the men gathered the villagers on Tuesday morning and started shooting in the incident which lasted several hours,” according to CNN.
One survivor of the attack recounted that the Islamist terrorists “gathered us and said they wanted to deliver [a] religious sermon to us. They asked us to submit whatever arm we had. Some villagers gave up their … guns, bow, and arrows.”
“Suddenly, they started shooting at will. Even children and women were not spared. Many were shot at close range,” he continued. “We have buried 49 corpses here while another 32 corpses were taken away by families from the villages around us.”
In addition to murdering more than six dozen villagers, the members of Boko Haram also abducted seven people, “including our village head. They went away with 400 cattle.”
Malam Bunu, the leader of the local defense group, suggested that Tuesday’s massacre took place in retaliation for the death of two members of Boko Haram “whom the villagers managed to kill when the insurgents attempted to attack them about two months ago.”
On Wednesday, the Nigerian army announced that “a large contingent of military personnel have been drafted in the general area to track and apprehend or neutralize the perpetrators.”
“We further wish to reiterate that the Nigerian Army is committed to investigate the circumstances of these callous attacks by desperate Boko Haram criminals and the bandits on innocent civilians,” the press release continued.
“We would ensure that appropriate action is taken to mitigate against any future incidents. While thanking Nigerians for their understanding, we implore all to continue to support and cooperate with the troops as they carry out their duties.”
A further update has not yet been released.
According to the Society for Threatened Peoples, an additional 60 Nigerians were murdered in separate attacks last Tuesday and Wednesday.
“In the village of Kadisau alone, 32 people died when heavily armed men on motorcycles entered the village, burned down houses, shot people at random, and raped women. In Sabuwa district, gunmen attacked seven villages, and terrorized and murdered civilians.”
The recently released 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom, which was prepared by the State Department, summarized the brutal work of Boko Haram in Nigeria.
“Terrorist groups including Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA) attacked population centers and religious targets and maintained a growing ability to stage forces in rural areas and launch attacks against civilian and military targets across the North East, according to observers,” the report pointed out.
“The groups continued to carry out person-borne improvised explosive device (IED) bombings — many by young women and girls drugged and forced into doing so — targeting the local civilian population, including churches and mosques.”
Priests and other Christian religious leaders, as well as their families, were “attacked, killed, or kidnapped for ransom” throughout the year, “often by attackers identified as of allegedly Fulani ethnicity.”
“These cases included, among others, the killing of Father Paul Offu and Father Clement Ugwu and the beating of an evangelical Christian pastor from Kaduna State and kidnapping for ransom of his wife, who died in her captors’ custody.”
Local authorities did not blame Islamist terrorism for the attacks, but called them “criminal acts” that were “not religiously motivated.” At the same time, “many Christian civil society groups pointed to such incidents as examples of religiously motivated persecution.”
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), in its annual report, said Boko Haram and ISWAP “continued their insurgencies in northeast Nigeria and the Lake Chad region.”
For Christmas, the organization “released a video showing the horrific killing of 11 captives and stated it was executing Christians in retaliation for the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi.”
“Since 2009, Boko Haram has displaced more than two million people and killed tens of thousands,” according to the report.
Meanwhile, in Mali, Islamist terrorists attacked several Dogon farming villages last Tuesday and Wednesday, murdering 27 people. Some of them were burned alive.
As reported by The Christian Post, the villages were “predominantly inhabited by Christians.”
While the USCIRF report did not mention Mali, the State Department’s 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom explained that “affiliates of Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), a U.S.-designated terrorist alliance, attacked multiple towns in Mopti Region, threatening Christian, Muslim, and traditional religious communities, reportedly for heresy.” (Click to Source)
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