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11/09/2023 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) –  Suspected Boko Haram jihadists attacked rice fields in the farming community of Zabarmari outside the regional capital Maiduguri on Monday, Nov. 6. The attackers stormed the village and slit the throats of anyone they could find. The farmers slept in their fields overnight to protect their harvested goods before transporting them the following morning. 

Boko Haram is an Islamic extremist group that has waged violence against thousands in Nigeria’s northeast. Since 2011, Boko Haram has increased its violence, planting thousands of bombs in churches, forcing children out of education, displacing entire villages, and killing several thousand people who have stood in their way.  

Boko Haram is not considered to be in the same global jihadist bracket as Algeria’s al-Qaida or Somalia’s al-Shabab due to its lack of violence specifically targeting Western ideals. While the group has undoubtedly targeted some Western-based locations, such as the U.N. compound in August 2011, the lack of consistent rules separates it from other terrorists. 

While traditionally, northern Nigeria is predominantly Muslim, Boko Haram has found ways to attack Christians despite their predominant position in the North. In their report on Boko Haram, the United States Institute of Peace wrote, “The group will continue to attack softer targets in the northeast rather than international targets inside or outside Nigeria. It is also likely to become increasingly involved in the Jos crisis, where it will attack Christian indigenes of the north and try to push them out.” 

The farmers in Zabarmari are still looking for members of their community who went missing after the attack. “We are still searching other rice fields in neighboring communities for more bodies because many people are still missing,” said Umar Ari, a community leader. 

We pray that those who were kidnapped or escaped the massacre are found and brought to safety. We pray for the community who is grieving the loss of so many of its members. We pray for the perfectly just wrath of God to rain down upon those who inflict unnecessary violence upon their brothers and sisters. We thank the mighty prince of peace who reigns over our world, fighting for his children without ceasing. 

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