“Scores” Massacred, Churches Burned to the Ground in Latest Attack

Suspected Boko Haram Militants Attack Kwada and Kautikari Villages, Burning Four Churches to the Ground and Killing Worshippers, Civilians

06/29/2014 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that armed Islamic militants have killed “scores” of worshippers and civilians and burned four churches to the ground in raids on two villages in Nigeria’s northeast. Nigerian military and law enforcement personnel have neither confirmed the attacks nor announced an official death toll.

This morning, armed militants suspected to belong to the radical Islamic insurgency, Boko Haram, “sprayed gunfire at worshippers and torched four churches” in Kwada, “a village just miles from the town where more than 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped,” according to the Associated Press (AP).

Reports have identified three of the four destroyed churches as the Protestant Church of Christ in Nigeria, the Pentecostal Deeper Life Bible Church and the Church of the Brethren, or EYN church.

In speaking with the AP, Millam Yahi, a member of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), “the attackers went on to neighboring Kautikari, where they gunned down villagers and burned down homes.” Yahi clarified that members of the CJTF were not yet able to reach Kautikari to assess the damage and announce an unofficial death toll.

Spokesman Gideon Jubrin has stated that police have not confirmed the attack “because bad communications have kept them from reaching the nearest security post at Chibok.” However, a Chibok resident told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that, in response to distress calls from Kwada villagers, security personnel “just went and got a hiding place in the bush.” That allegation has yet to be confirmed.

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa, Cameron Thomas, said, “The latest attack by Boko Haram on four churches and those innocently attending Sunday services inside once again affirms the religious motivation of this group’s heinous crimes against the Nigerian people. For years, the Christian population of north Nigeria has faced a devastating offensive by Islamic militants that has yet to be effectively countered. Today, the bloodied soil of Kwada and Kautikari villages serve as a heart-rending cry for greater action to ensure the safety of Christians wishing to exercise their right to practice their beliefs free from fear of retribution at the barrel of gun or trigger of an explosive.”

For interviews, contact Cameron Thomas, Regional Manager for Africa:
RM-Africa@persecution.org

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