Boko Haram is suspected to be behind Thursdays attack in which 23 people were murdered in Nigeria. The Christian minority is “on edge” as the violence continues.
01/24/13 Nigeria (BNL) -Minority Christians in northern Nigeria were on edge Thursday, January 24, after militants killed at least 23 people for disobeying Islamic religious law, known as Sharia, residents said.
In the deadliest attack, suspected Islamic gunmen fired at a market in Borno state killing 18 people late Monday, January 21.
“Gunmen suspected to be members of [Islamic group Boko Haram] came to the town market and shot dead 13 local hunters on the spot while five others died from their injuries at the hospital,” the official said in published remarks.
“They came to the market in a Volkswagen Golf car, carried out the operation and left.”
Locals said the militants appeared to have targeted the local hunters over their choice to sell “bush meat” such as pork and monkeys, forbidden by local Muslims.
In a separate incident Tuesday, January 22, suspected Islamic militants riding on motorbikes shot dead five people playing an outdoor board game in the northern city of Kano, some 500 km (310 miles) west of Damboa, witnesses and hospital sources said.
Two people were reportedly seriously wounded.
Authorities believe both attacks were carried out by Boko Haram, which means ‘Western Education is a Sin’.
Boko Haram wants to carve out an Islamic state out of Nigeria, a country of 170 million people split roughly evenly between Christians and Muslims.
It has ordered Christians to leave the region and urged Muslims to move from southern areas to the north.
The latest attacks came after suspected Boko Haram fighters killed dozens of people, most of them Christians, since Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, attackers raided two churches, killing 12 people in the northern Nigerian state of Yobe.
Six days later, suspected Boko Haram fighters killed at least 15 Christian worshipers, slitting some of their throats, in Musari, on the outskirts of Maiduguri, where the Islamic militants are based, according to Nigerian authorities.