Boko Haram, a radical Islamic insurgency bent on establishing a separate Islamic state in Nigeria’s remote northeast, have killed untold numbers of civilians in the predominantly Christian town of Shani. While reports remain vague due to downed communications with the town, eye witnesses have painted a picture of death and destruction at the hands of armed radicals. Infamous for its mass-abduction of more than 270 predominantly Christian schoolgirls from Chibok in April of this year, Boko Haram has waged a campaign of terror against Nigeria’s northern Christians in an attempt to eradicate them.
12/01/2014 Nigeria (Christian Post) – Scores of people have been killed and thousands have fled the predominantly Christian town of Shani in Borno State, Nigeria following an attack by terror group Boko Haram late on Saturday, report have said.
A Shani resident who did not wish to be identified told Nigeria’s Daily Post that “some group of insurgents invaded the town at about 8 p.m. on Saturday and started shooting sporadically, targeting civilians, public buildings and recreational centres.”
The resident continued: “They came on about 10 motorcycles from Gwaskara axis, well armed with Ak47 rifles, improvised explosive devices and petrol bombs, wrecking havoc without confrontation as there was no military operatives, nor police to assist the armless civilians who were running for dear lives.”
Reuters reported that it’s not yet known how many people have been killed, as communications with the town have been largely cut off.
Another resident, Ishaya Brimah, said from the safety of a nearby village that the militants that attacked Shani numbered more than 30 men.
“They started throwing bombs into houses … then the Boko Haram fired shots at people fleeing,” Brimah continued. “They set ablaze the police station, houses and a telecom mast … I saw people fleeing, some bodies on the ground.”
Shopkeeper Shuabu Lawal added about the start of the attacks: “A boy ran into my shop and said his father and elder brother had been shot. He was only wearing shorts, no top and sweating despite the wintry weather. I shut down my shop immediately, leaving some items outside.”
Boko Haram has been raiding Nigerian towns and villages for over five years in a mission to establish an Islamic caliphate. The terrorists have often targeted Christians, who make up close to half of the nation’s population, and have sought to drive them out of the country.