Boko Haram targets Christians in northeastern Nigeria

Over the weekend, suspected Boko Haram fighters attacked several villages in northeastern Nigeria, killing dozens of civilians and torching churches and homes.

The attacks took place in villages near Chibok, a predominantly Christian enclave in Borno state from which Boko Haram kidnapped over two hundred school girls in April.

The villages attacked included Kautikari, Kwada, Ngurojina, and Karagau. According to a witness in Kautikari, the insurgents stayed in the village for at least four hours while setting homes and buildings on fire.

During the attacks, the gunmen reportedly rode through the villages on motorcycles throwing explosives at targets. In Kwada, the insurgents burned the entire village, including five churches. The gunmen entered the churches, opened fire on Sunday worshipers, and then set the churches ablaze.

A Nigerian military plane was reportedly deployed five hours after the attacks commenced; at which time, the "gunmen sneaked into the bush."

Boko Haram, whose name means "Western education is forbidden," has launched a series of attacks across the country seeking to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria. The group's brazen spate of recent attacks illustrates that it can operate openly and with relative impunity. The group is suspected of attacking a shopping center in Abuja and hitting a medical college in Kano last week after it attacked several villages in Borno state the previous weekend.

This past Sunday's attacks are not the first time the group has targeted Christians or churches. In 2012, a spokesman for the group promised that Boko Haram would "eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country" while fighting to establish "a proper Islamic state." The statement came on the heels of a Boko Haram suicide car bombing outside a church in Jos in February 2012.

On June 26, the United Nations Security Council's al Qaeda Sanctions Committee added Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau to its list of recognized terrorists, subjecting Shekau to financial sanctions and an arms embargo. The UN also added the Nigerian terrorist group Ansaru to its list of terrorist organizations, noting that it is associated with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Boko Haram, as well as with Shekau himself.

The US added Shekau to its terrorist list in June 2012, and designated Ansaru as a terror organization in November 2013.


READER COMMENTS: "Boko Haram targets Christians in northeastern Nigeria "


The comments section is intended to provide a forum to discuss and debate current posts. The Long War Journal makes no warranty to the accuracy of readers' comments, nor do we condone or affirm the opinions of reader-based comments. Discuss the issue at hand and do not go off topic. The comments section is not a place for partisan debates. Please be courteous to your fellow commenters. Personal attacks on the editors, authors, or readers of The Long War Journal sites will not be permitted. Please refer to current and former elected officials and public leaders respectfully. Offensive language, cursing (including replacing letters with characters), racial or ethnic slurs, and sexist remarks will not be tolerated. In the interest of keeping the comments section readable, please post a link to any articles, and excerpt the portions of the article that make your points. Any comments with the full article will be edited.

Commenters will be required to leave an e-mail address and are encouraged to submit their website or URL also. E-mail addresses will not be published to the site; however, if it is determined that it is a false address, the comment will be removed.

The Long War Journal reserves the right to edit, delete, or decline to publish any comments that violate this policy, and prevent any repeat offender from commenting.

If you have any questions on the comments policy or problems with the site, email Bill Roggio.

Post a Comment