ABUJA, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – At least eight people were killed in an attack earlier this month (May 3) by Islamic State West Africa (ISWAP) terrorists on a predominantly Christian village in northeastern Nigeria, sources said.
In the latest attacks by Islamist extremists on Christian communities in Chibok County, Borno State, ISWAP militants stormed the town of Kautikari after 6 p.m., shooting people, looting property, and destroying many homes. They were, said, residents.
“The Kautikari community is currently under attack by ISWAP (Boko Haram) terrorists,” resident Musa Nkeki told Morning Star News in a text message. “Your prayer is urgently needed for God’s intervention.”
Resident Yohanna Daniel also texted Morning Star News, saying, “We need security intervention before it’s too late.”
The two residents said hundreds of residents had fled the area. Daniel identified the murderer as Yanta Ali, Mallum Dzakwa, Dawi Pogu, Lado Manu, Joshua Sanda, Tabji Mutah, Albert Tabji, and Ngwaksa Aboku.
Local sources told the Daily Trust that eight bodies had been recovered, many people were still missing, and the attackers had burned down a military base.
This was the second attack in the Chibok area in less than a month
Nkeki told Morning Star News that this was the second attack in the Chibok area in less than a month, when ISWAP terrorists attacked the village of Yimirmugza on April 18, kidnapping six Christians.
“They sporadically fired at anyone in sight, forcing all Christian residents to flee for their lives,” Nkeki said. “At the end of the attack, the terrorists killed a Christian named Godwin Isaac and kidnapped six girls.”
He identified the six abducted girls as Christiana Fali, Rhoda Fali, Hannatu Fali, and Lydia Fali, all from one family, and Asabe Sunday and Rifkatu John.
He said the terrorists also carried away livestock, food, and valuables.
On February 25, suspected ISWAP terrorists killed three Christians in an attack on Kautikari and destroyed a church building. Three people are said to have died, and many houses and church buildings have burned down. Katikati was also attacked in mid-January when 24 Christian women and children were captured and imprisoned, and an auditorium of a local congregation was also damaged.
ISWAP attacked another town in Chibok, Piyemi, on January 20, with 19 people, mostly girls, kidnapped and a vigilante leader beheaded.
Chibok leaders have reported that their communities have been attacked more than 72 times since the 2014 kidnapping of 276 public high school girls in the predominantly Christian area. After eight years in which 57 girls escaped alone, and others were released, 110 remain in captivity, according to a report released in late January by the Chibok Area Development Association.
ISWAP broke off from Boko Haram in 2016. An Abubakar Shekau-led faction of Boko Haram formally joined the Islamic State in 2016 and changed its name to the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP). However, many Nigerians still refer to the Shekau-led faction of ISWAP under the original word, Boko Haram. According to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the Islamic State recognizes the ISWAP faction that broke away from Shekau as its cell in the region.
Nigeria led the world in the number of Christians killed for their faith last year (October 1, 2020, to September 30, 2021) at 4,650, up from 3,530 the previous year, according to the Open Doors 2022 World Watch List report. According to the WWL report, the number of abducted Christians was also highest in Nigeria, at more than 2,500, up from 990 the year before.
According to the report, Nigeria followed only China in the number of churches attacked, with 470 cases.
In the 2022 World Watch List of countries where it is hardest to be a Christian, Nigeria jumped to seventh place, the highest ranking ever, from number 9 the previous year.
This story was first published by Morning Star News and is republished here with permission.