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Islamists Kill a Pastor in Mauritania

Washington, D.C. (March 24, 2011)–International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on March 5 Islamists kidnaped and killed a pastor in Oulata, Mauritania. Pastor Ahmadou Abu Bakr’s bullet-ridden body was found dumped on the outskirts of the city on the morning of March 6th.

Last year, Pastor Ahmadou had fled the city of Nema to Oulata, because he was threatened by a local Islamist group affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) because of his Christian witness. Pastor Ahmadou’s murderers arrived from Nema in a 4-by-4 pickup truck, according to an eyewitness who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons.

According to Maymuna Elhadji, pastor Ahmadou’s widow, AQIM and their local affiliates have been targeting local Christians in Mauritania and Mali throughout the last few years. The widow and her three children have left Oulata and gone into hiding.

Maymuna told ICC that her late husband was the fourth Mauritanian martyred for his faith in Southeast Mauritania since 2009. 

The pastor abandoned Islam and became a follower of Christ in 2008; his wife joined him in the faith in 2009. They have been married for nine years.

A local church leader who spoke to ICC from the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, described pastor Ahmadou as, “a selfless disciple of Christ who served in the most dangerous region in Mauritania and supported his family as a tent maker.”

Jonathan Racho, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, said “We are deeply saddened by the killing of pastor Ahmadou. We are outraged by the failure of Mauritanian government to protect the Christian minorities from killings. We urge Mauritanian officials to arrest the killers of pastor Ahmadou and bring them to justice. Mauritanian authorities have an obligation to protect their citizens from the Islamic onslaught.”