According to the Association of Christian Churches in Nigeria, several churches have been destroyed in Boko Haram’s massive attack on the fishing village of Baga, which has estimated death tolls in the thousands, according to some international monitors. Boko Haram, a radical Islamic insurgency bent on establishing a separate Islamic state to be ruled by Sharia law, has waged a campaign of terror against Nigeria’s northern Christians for years.
01/18/2015 Nigeria (Christian Post) – Jihadists from Boko Haram reportedly killed a woman in the middle of giving birth to a baby boy, witnesses to last week’s massacre in Baga and surrounding villages have said. Satellite images released by Amnesty International revealed the extent of the “catastrophic devastation” following the attacks, which are believed to have killed up to 2,000 people.
“They killed so many people. I saw maybe around 100 killed at that time in Baga. I ran to the bush. As we were running, they were shooting and killing,” one witness said.
Another pointed out that Boko Haram killed women and children indiscriminately, including one woman who was in labour.
“[H]alf of the baby boy is out and she died like this,” the witness described.
Boko Haram’s massacre on Baga followed an earlier offensive where a key military base there was captured by the jihadists, who’ve been waging war on the Nigerian government since 2009.
Christian leaders in Nigeria last week noted that several churches were also burned down in the attack.
“I received a message of the Christians Association of Nigeria, the association of Christian churches in Nigeria, which states that in that area Boko Haram has burned several churches and caused numerous victims” said Fr. Patrick Tor Alumuku, director of social communications of the Archdiocese of Abuja.
Thousands of people have fled the region and sought refuge in the neighboring country of Chad, while the Nigerian army has faced mounting criticism for its failure to contain Boko Haram.
Pastor Laolu Akande, the executive director of the Christian Association of Nigerian Americans, said earlier this week: “The numbers are adding up fast and it is becoming clearer and clearer that the Nigerian governments, both federal and states, are failing resoundingly in their responsibility to protect innocent lives and prevent this mass atrocities from going forward. These atrocities are increasingly becoming worse and worse as the times go by.”
Fox News reported that American lawmakers have noted last week’s horrific attack and are calling for the White House to develop a strategy to contain the terror threat.